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Edmund Dunch

Edmund Dunch, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt, circa 1705 -NPG 3206 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Edmund Dunch

by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
circa 1705
36 in. x 28 1/4 in. (914 mm x 718 mm)
NPG 3206

This portraitback to top

The Kit-Cat Club portrait. An oval version was with the Oxenden family [1] and a reduced version was sold Christie’s South Kensington, 7 March 1991, lot 187. [2] A drawing of this type by Edward Byng is in the British Museum. [3]

Footnotesback to top

1) A more recent copy inscribed EB 1894 sold Christie’s, 25-26 September 2000, lot 199.
2) Oxenden sale, 20 November 1931, lot 57.
3) E. Croft-Murray & P. Hulton, British Museum, Catalogue of British Drawings: XVI and XVII centuries, 1960, p 238 (1897.8.13.7; BYNG 6:f.18v).

Referenceback to top

Piper 1963
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, p 116 as c.1700-10.

Stewart 1983
J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.246 as c.1705.

Provenanceback to top

The portrait was borrowed by Mrs Dunch, the sitter’s widow, c.1720,1 and passed to her daughter and heir Elizabeth, who married 1720 Sir George Oxenden, 5th Bt.; recovered for the kit-cat collection by William Baker from Sir Henry Oxenden, 7th Bt., 1814.2

1 The Tonson Papers contain two explicatory letters. A begging letter from J. Craggs (James Craggs, the younger) to Jacob Tonson II on behalf of the sitter’s widow asks for the loan of the picture which ‘cannot well be refused to a Woman in her Condition’ and proposing that it would be returned. On 13 February 1777 Philip Lemprière (brother-in-law of Jacob Tonson III) wrote to William Baker explaining that ‘Dunch had a lewd handsome wife who lived many years with other persons, her great favourite was Craigs [sic] & the moment Dunch dyed who she had not seen for years she could have no peace without having his portrait and there was only yr original. Craigs writes to yr Grand Father Old Jacob [Tonson I] then in France to beg he would let Mrs Dunch have it which was denied, then he passed his word & honour to your Grand Father that the Original should be return’d after a copy had been taken but never could be got back, that time must be about the year 1720 ...’ (Tonson Papers).
2 Sir Henry Oxenden told Baker he had two portraits of Dunch, one at Deane and another at Broome; on 16 April 1814 he sent both to Baker at Berkeley Square so that he might choose the original Kneller (letters of 7 March, 25 March, 27 March, 10 April, 1814; Tonson Papers).

Exhibitionsback to top

Beningbrough 1978–2005.

Reproductionsback to top

J. Faber II 1733 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 208/38).


This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685–1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, 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.

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