Oil painting on canvas, Samuel Sketchley and his Family by Daniel Dodd (fl.1761-1780). 1780. Samuel Sketchley (1739 - 1831), his wife Elizabeth Sketchley (d.1808) and their 4 sons, the eldest being William Sketchley (1746-1798) and the youngest Benjamin Sketchley (d.1828) Samuel Sketchley was a brewer in Newark. At least two of his sons became bankers. No known connection with Peckover. Samuel Sketchley standing leaning on a sofa on which sits his wife Elizabeth with their youngest child on her lap, 3 other children standing. Gilt pressed metal overlay on wooden frame.
This conversation-piece came from Miss Sketchley with the information that it represented Samuel Sketchley (1739-1831), his wife Elizabeth, and their four sons. Information subsequently provided by Vernon Radcliffe of Newark, in 2002, revealed that he was the son of a Master Brewer of Burton-on-Trent, and that he migrated to Newark around 1765, building a brewery by the Town Wharf, forming a partnership with William Handley (d.1788), a mason turned merchant, and becoming Mayor in 1791 and 1804 (cf. B.M. Pask, Newark - the Bounty of Feer, 1997, pp.11-12). He lived in a Queen Anne house, No.11 Castlegate.
His monument in Newark parish church reveals that his wife Elizabeth died in 1808, and commemorates a nephew, also called Samuel, who died in 1855 (cf. C. Brown, History of Newark, 1904, vol.II, p.319; and B.M. Pask, Newark Parish Church, 2000, p.208).
His eldest son, William (1746-1798) was a partner in what subsequently became Pocklington & Dickinson’s Bank. His youngest son, Benjamin (d.1828), moved to Sleaford, where in 1792 he founded another bank, Peacock, Handley & Kirton.
The portrait has considerable affinities with a recently-emerged picture of The Ashby Family, of Isleworth and Bromley (Sotheby’s 18 No., 1992, Lot 46), which is signed and dated D.Dodd / pinxt. / 1782 - allowing for the probably slightly earlier date and outdoor setting. Daniel Dodd’s dates of activity have previously only been known from his exhibits at the Society of Artists, from 1761 to 1780, but the Ashby Family reveals that he was still painting after that, so might also have painted this.
Makers and roles
Daniel Dodd (fl.1761-1780), artist
previously attributed to Johann Zoffany, RA (Frankfurt am Main 1733 - Kew 1810), artist