£350,000 to save the Smythe family

May 19 2016

Image of £350,000 to save the Smythe family

Picture: DCMS/ACE

I've been meaning to mention the placing of a temporary export bar by the UK government on an important collection of nine 16th century portraits by Cornelis Ketel. The sitters are all members of the Smythe family, and the father of the group, Thomas (above), was an important merchant in London. It's apparently the earliest surviving set of portraits from a non-royal or aristocratic family. 

If anyone has a photo of the whole set, do please send it in!

Update - I'd forgotten that some years ago I helped the owners of the Smythe set add another Ketel portrait to their collection, when it came up for sale at Christie's

Update II - a reader kindly sends this photo of the set of nine.

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