Letter from A.E. Stanley Clarke to Henry Clay Frick, 30 March 1916
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entitled "the flower gatherers," being the Morgan children of Romsey, 1804. I lent this picture for exhibition at the Bond Street Art Gallery London in 1902, as you will see by enclosed press cutting from the review & at that time was offered £12,000 for it, but it was not then for sale, & afterwards when Hoppner prices advanced so considerably it was valued for insurance by E.H. Stanley & C. Davis the art experts to his majesty at twenty thousand pounds. Prior to the war, I have always refused to sell this picture as being one the late King Edward's favourites, my father, who was chief Equerry to his majesty, expressed a wish that I should not part with it except under unavoidable circumstances, which now have unfortunately arisen. Alas for these times! nobody in England is now buying & it is very difficult to sell anything here. By approaching you personally it considerably lowers the prices, there being no commission to pay & reduction owing to war prices here makes it an exceptional opportunity from a purchasers point of view.
I am prepared to accept £10000 for the Hoppner "The Flower Gatherers," this is half the valuation price, & it is looked upon as quite his masterpiece; I send photo of the sworn affidavit & documentary pedigree of this picture. The companion Hoppner painting "The Two Rods" was originally painted for the Baird family, relations of my family on my mother's side & this I am reducing the valuation price by £2000 & would accept £4000.
The painting by George Romney of Lady
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