Folk Art Portrait Watercolour Lady R and W Kerry


United Kingdom

DC Member since 2019
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Folk Art Portrait Watercolour Lady R and W Kerry

This wonderful full length watercolor portrait of a lady was produced in England during the 19th century, circa 1845. The painting is by the artists Messrs R. and W. Kerry who were travelling silhouettists and portrait painters. They were active during the mid-19th century circa 1835-1850. Due to the nature of their work they were always travelling, therefore little is known about the artists. What we do know that the artists were known to have worked in Weymouth, Leamington Spa and Kings Lynn and Durham, England. Despite the artists claiming to have captured over 600 likenesses in Leamington Spa in 1845, there are only a few known examples of their work including several full length watercolor portraits and a pairs of silhouettes.

During the 1850s they gave up capturing likenesses in watercolor in favour of photography, which was becoming ever more popular and affordable. In the ‘History of the borough of King's Lynn by Hillen, Henry J. Published 1907. Volume 2’ he records Messrs Kerry as having introduced photography to Kings Lynn in 1852, “What a comfort it is to have the likeness of some departed relation or absent friend on which to look and say – With thee though speechless there’s a converse; Though alone a sweet and rapturous society,”

The female sitter is wearing a blue dress, with fashionable 1840s low pointed waist and bell shaped skirt. She is carrying a flower posy, nosegay or tussie mussie in her hand. She wears a be-ribboned lace day cap over her centrally parted hair. We very much like her black satin slipper that is poking out from under hell full skirt. The reverse of the paper features the artists stamp reading ‘R and W Kerry Artists.’ The painting is housed under old glass in a decorative period correct frame with a gilt inner slip. The backing board is original and features the artists trade label reading ‘Taken by Messrs. R. And W. Kerry, Artists.’ The second label verso reads ‘Anne Wellington (Nee Archer) 1822 – 1883. Property of Mary Margaret Lenton (Great Niece) of Leamington and Weymouth’.

This is a decorative painting with a folk art, naive appeal that also has a fascinating history. There are so few examples of the artist’s work making this piece desirable among collectors. This is a fantastic, unique opportunity to own a painting by these talented artists.

Size: Frame 12" (30.5 cm) by 10" (26 cm) by 1.25" (3 cm). Visible portrait 8" (20.5 cm) by 6" (15.5 cm).

Condition: The portrait is in good condition with minor crazing to the paint to be expected with its vast age. The veneer frame has two vertical and perfectly stable drying cracks to the wood seen upper left inner corner and upper right inner corner.

FREE Shipping to mainland UK, mainland EU and mainland USA only, other countries please enquire prior to purchase. Any import fees, duties, local taxes are the buyer's responsibility.


  • H: 30.5cm (12.01in)
  • W: 26cm (10.24in)
  • D: 3cm (1.18in)



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