A Scene from "Oroonoko"
Widow Lockit : Oroonoko
Daniel : Oroonoko
Welldon : Oroonoko
Lucy : Oroonoko
height (frame): 24cm
width (frame): 28cm
Enamel plaque in a gilt copper frame; oval. It was once framed with G0967, but during routine conservation in 2009 it was decided to reframe them individually.
"No 2 / This represents a scene out of the play Oroonoko Act 2. Scene 1. / It was purchased at a sale from a French Privateer at Plymouth for 4/.shc4. / Copy (Jonathan Toolgood) [inscr: pen & black ink on wove paper, attahced to verso]
Dr Jonathan Toogood of Bridgwater? from his father who had bought it from the sale of a French Privateer at Plymouth: R. Walker, Hon Mrs Nellie Ionides, then by descent to Toby Jessel, MP, by whom presented to the Garrick Club, 1995
Gift 967 [with G0967]
This enamel forms a pair with G0967, and is by the same anonymous artist. Four characters are standing in a room, women left and right and two men centre. The authors of "Pictures in the Garrick Club" 1997 made the suggestion that it represents a scene in Thomas Southern’s "Oroonoko" as acted at either of the patent houses, and this was confirmed during conservation undertaken in 2009 which revealed an ink inscription on wove paper attached to the verso. However the 1997 catalogue was in error when it suggested the scene depicted was Act I. As the inscription suggests it is Act II Scene 1, Widow Lackitt's house. Midway through the scene Welldon and Lucy are joined by Widow Lackitt as she re-enters with her son Daniel: “Come Daniel, hold up thy head, child: look like a man: you must not take it as you have done. Gad’s my life! There is nothing to be done with twirling your hat, man.” Thus the characters are identified left to right as Widow Lackitt, Daniel, Welldon and Lucy. The naivety of the enamelling does not allow for identification of a specific production. It is somewhat crude and naive, typical of various enamelists working in Bilston c. 1770. A Bilston enamel in the Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage Collection EM183 depicting a couple in a rural landscape shares the same stylistic characteristics and similar gilt metal mount.
The inscription further suggests an intriguing early provenance, recording it as having been bought from the sale of a French Privateer at Plymouth by the father of a Jonathan Toogood. A Dr Jonathan Toogood is recorded at the Bridgwater Infirmary in "The Medical Times" for 1845. It is not known however when it became a pair with G0967, although the inscription calls it No 2, so perhaps they were paired from an early date, but whether they were both bought from the French privateer remains uncertain.