A very good Old Master painting depicting Don Quixote and the Players with fascinating local provenance.
This painting was discovered some 25 years ago hidden up a chimney in Blackdown House, near Haslemere. The unframed canvas was found during restoration in a blackened state and thrown in a skip. The painting was found by a family friend and sold to a local lady, Thomas Fine Art’s professional restorer and current owner.
Research to find the artist is ongoing, but we believe British School, Circa 1650.
The present house appears to date from 1640 when an estate at Blackdown was owned by the Yalden or Yaldwyn family, who were iron-masters. William Yaldwyn is recorded as becoming MP for Midhurst in 1659. The estate remained in the family until sold in 1840 to James Henry. After his death it was acquired by Sir Frederick Phillipson-Stow whose son, Sir Elliot, succeeded him in 1908. Blackdown remained in the family until the mid-20th century. A sale of the estate farmland took place in 1950 and in the 1980s the buildings of Blackdown Farm were converted to dwellings. Blackdown House and the surrounding gardens changed hands again in 1997 and was re-named Blackdown Park. The whole estate remains (1997) in several private ownerships.
Don Quixote is considered one of the most influential works of literature from the Spanish Golden Age. Published in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615.