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Pair of 19th century watercolour landscapes showing the house, Wanstead Grove in Essex, in the distance and cattle in the foreground. Pen and ink and watercolour in black and white. Now mounted and framed. English, circa 1835
Painted by the Hon. Harriet Rushout (1809 - 1852), whose father, George Rushout Bowles’ family seat was Wanstead Grove. The house had undergone extensive reparations in 1822 at the hands of her aunt, the artist Hon. Anne Rushout, who had inherited the estate in 1817. Harriet and her sister, Georgiana, were acclaimed artists in their own right, living in their family seat of Burford House in Tenbury Wells, Shropshire. Their brother, George, became the 3rd Lord Northwick and, through his descendants, Northwick Park was inherited by Edward George Spencer-Churchill, grandson of the Duke of Marlborough and cousin of Winston Churchill.
These pictures came by descent from George Rushout-Bowles to his heir, Edward George Spencer-Churchill, whose estate at Northwick Park was dispersed in a series of Christies’ sales on the premises in 1964.
They have since then been held in a private collection.
The house, one of the largest in Wanstead in the 18th century, was built on 60 acres of parkland on the edge of Epping Forest in about 1690 by Sir Francis Dashwood. The estate was thereafter bought by Humphry Bowles in 1759, a highly successful glass manufacturer owning the country’s largest factory, The Vauxhall Works, in London. His daughter, Rebecca, known as ‘The Beauty of Essex’, played host to her brother George in his lavish entertaining at Wanstead Grove when he inherited it from his father. George was a major patron of the famous artist Angelica Kauffman and held the largest private collection of her works at Wanstead - over fifty paintings - the majority of which he had commissioned himself. Rebecca and her daughter, Anne, were painted by Kauffman in 1773. The house remained in his family for the next century. The Hon. Lady Anne Rushout (1767 - 1849), daughter of John, 1st Lord Northwick, and the Hon. Lady Rebecca Rushout, inherited Wanstead Grove from her uncle, George Bowles (brother of Rebecca), in 1817. As the house was in a state of disrepair, Anne rebuilt it in c1822 at an extravagant cost of £10,000. She also inherited a house in Cavendish Square, London, from her uncle, George Bowles. The grounds to Wanstead Grove were known as The Park and the lake therein known as The Canal. The gardens were famous for their American plants, which apparently flourished and grew ‘to a large size’.