Scandal, gilt and Big House power

Oil portrait due to go under the hammer at Sheppard’s this week

24th April, 2016
An oil of Sarah, the Hon Mrs Arthur Rochford, by painter William Watson: her husband died in debtors’ prison after being found guilty of having an affair with his brother’s wife – but nobody knows what became of Sarah

A pretty painting with scandalous provenance is William Watson’s oil portrait of Sarah, the Hon Mrs Arthur Rochfort, 61x61 centimetres, due to go under the hammer at Sheppard’s this week with an estimate of €3,000-€5,000.

Sarah’s brother-in-law, the Earl of Belvedere, accused her husband (his brother) of having an affair with his wife Mary, and although both strenuously denied it, the case went to court.

Found guilty...

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