[‘I feel rather as a brother than as a client’. Captain George Jones, RA, Librarian of the Royal Academy.] Autograph Letter Signed (‘George Jones’) to his close friend Sir Francis Chantrey, explaining his embarrassment at selling him a painting.

Captain George Jones (1786-1869), RA, Librarian and acting President of the Royal Academy, and army officer, close friend and executor of J. M. W. Turner and Sir Francis Chantrey
Publication details: 
Without date or place, but before Chantrey's death in 1841, and probably from London.
SKU: 23815

See the entries for Jones and Chantry in the Oxford DNB. 3pp, 12mo. On bifolium. An interesting letter of 39 lines with text intact, in poor condition, aged and with closed tears, and discoloration from tape used in repair, and ink blot to first page. The surname of the recipient is not given, but the close friendship between the two men (Jones published a memoir of Chantrey in 1849) puts Chantrey’s identity beyond doubt. Begins: ‘Very dear Sir Francis / Your kind note is duly appreciated, and all you do, tends to my happiness altho’ it occasionally embarrasses my conduct; in the present instance I deeply feel your kindness in cherishing the pursuit that affords me pleasure, but your [dony?] so makes me feel as if I were receiving too great a testimony of your good will’. He is aware that it is ‘impertinent’ for him to ‘judge’ for Sir Francis, but he has ‘permitted me to such a station of familiarity that I feel rather as a brother than as a client’. He would far rather his picture were in Sir Francis’s possession than anyone else’s, and offer it to him ‘most willingly’ as a ‘testimonium amicitiae’, but he ‘dare not - therefore if it be your will, send me, one hundred Guineas and I will write you a formal answer, by which you will learn what you are to name, if my professional fee be demanded -’. If Sir Francis will indulge him by ‘acceding to my wish in this particular’, he will be ‘completely satisfied, and this I affirm with the most complete sincerity of heart’ (last eleven words underlined). A hundred guineas would have meant nothing to Chantrey; according to the DNB his estate was worth £150,000.