The pair, which were known works dating from the last decade of the artist’s life, depicted George Hake and his father Thomas who was Rossetti’s doctor.
Both became great friends of the Pre-Raphaelite painter after caring for him when his health deteriorated during the 1870s. George went on to have a distinguished career as an archaeologist, working for the British colonial authorities in Cyprus. Many of his finds are in the British Museum.
Male subjects are somewhat unusual for Rossetti who is best known for his flamed-haired Pre-Raphaelite ‘Stunners’. These portraits at Mallams, believed by the artist’s brother William Michael Rossetti to be among the best male subjects he drew, formed part of a Rossetti exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1973.
Offered via family descent at the Art & Music sale on October 23, the portrait of Thomas Hake made its lower guide of £11,000 while the drawing of George sold on bottom estimate for £20,000.
The sale also included a signed portrait of Pre-Raphaelite champion John Ruskin (1819-1900),which got way on bottom estimate for £5000.
The previously unrecorded work was painted in New York in 1897 by Seymour Joseph Guy (1824-1910) and is based on photographs taken by Frederick Hollyer of Ruskin at his home in Brantwood, Coniston.