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Regency Portraits Catalogue

Davies Gilbert (formerly Giddy) (1767-1839), Scientist and antiquary; President of the Royal Society

Miniature by Ozias Humphry probably painted when Gilbert was High Sheriff of Cornwall (1792-3); Humphry's sight began to fail shortly afterwards though a pastel by him of Mrs Davies Gilbert, dated 1796, was among a small group of Gilbert family portraits at Gawdy Hall, Norfolk (Farrer, I, p 161); Gilbert's youngest daughter Hester married William Sancroft Holmes of Gawdy Hall in about 1840; Gilbert's name at this time was Davies Giddy; he assumed his wife's name of Gilbert in 1817; in 1917 the miniature belonged to Mrs Davies Gilbert of Manor House Eastbourne and was described as 'a small oval portrait set in pearls ... miniature' (Williamson, Ozias Humphry, 1917, p 240).

Oil by Opie at Treissick (Mrs Davies Gilbert) in 1911, inscribed: Opie RA 1805 and exhibited RA 1806 (227) as 'Davies Giddy Esq MP'; a copy painted by Mrs Davies Gilbert was at Gawdy Hall.

Miniature by A. Stephens exhibited RA 1812 (450).

Drawing by Abraham Wivell at Balcarres was possibly done on Gilbert's appointment as Treasurer of the Royal Society in 1820; Wivell also drew a number of MPs at the 'trial' of Queen Caroline in the House of Lords.

Oil by Henry Howard formerly at Gawdy Hall, exhibited RA 1827 (138) and mezzotint by Cousins 1828 (Alfred Whitman, Samuel Cousins, 1904, 68 but not in Royal Society collection as stated in British Museum Catalogue); this was possibly in Ashburnham sale Sotheby's 15 July 1953 (138).

Marble bust by Joseph exhibited RA 1831 (1199).

Oil by J. B. Lane exhibited RA 1831 (210).

Oil by Phillips in Royal Society, exhibited RA 1833 (360), 'painted for the Royal Society' and presented by Gilbert himself in 1834.

Marble bust by Westmacott in Pembroke College, Oxford, is incised: RICHARD WESTMACOTT JUNr, WILTON PLACE LONDON and was exhibited RA 1833 (1186); another version was presented to the Royal Society by Baroness Basset in 1844.

Lithograph by EFH, seated in his library reading a book on Cornwall, probably his own Parochial History of Cornwall published in 4 vols. 1838.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.