(click image to enlarge)
SIGNED AND DATED 1934
INSCRIBED WITH TITLE BELOW MOUNT
CHALK ON TINTED PAPER
11 X 8 INCHES
PROVENANCE: THE ESTATE OF RANDOLPH SCHWABE
EXHIBITED: 'RANDOLPH SCHWABE. ARTIST, TEACHER, DIARIST', 9-27 FEBRUARY 2016
Mrs Tyrwhitt-Drake, née Mary Philomena Mostyn (1895-1953), married Captain Thomas Tywhitt-Drake in 1933. He had won the Military Cross twice during the First World War but, following a hunting accident in Iraq in 1924, was confined to a wheelchair. In the same year that he married Philomena, Thomas inherited the estate of Shardeloes, near Amersham, in Buckinghamshire, from his cousin, Edward. In the following year, Schwabe drew Mrs Tyrhwitt-Drake and, a little later, went to lunch at Shardeloes, as he described in his diary:
Saturday 3 Nov 1934
Drew Mrs Tyrwhitt Drake (introduced by Mrs Ollivant) ... She had driven up from Amersham. She told me a lot about Shardeloes ... The kitchens at Shardeloes are in a separate block, not even on the same level as the rest of the house ... The Queen came to see it, and to have lunch ... An equerry came the day before to explain exactly how H M was to be received, and to ask what other people were staying in the house, going into details such as the sugar in her tea, and what you were supposed to wear ... Mrs Drake liked H M, though. She went all over the house twice, and shared much knowledge of periods and furniture: she became quite human and amusing. It seems she smokes a cigarette after lunch ... Collins Baker has been recently to the house to look at the pictures. He called when Mr Drake was out, and was not admitted. He then telephoned from the inn in the village, explaining that he was Keeper of the King’s pictures ...
Friday 30 Nov 1934
Mrs Tyrwhitt Drake came a third time, and I finished my first drawing of her. It has taken something under six hours ...
Sunday 2 Dec 1934
Went to lunch at Shardeloes, 12 o’c train from Baker Street. A car met me at the station. Mrs Tyrwhitt Drake had said it would be ‘only themselves’, but there were about five other people ... The house is as fine as I thought; the rooms beautifully proportioned ... but few interesting pictures. Except for some good Elizabethan costume-pieces, and one or two of the like, 17th and 18th century Drakes ... J H Mortimer’s conversation piece of Sir William Drake, his family, and the brothers Adam is one of the better specimens. The big lake at the foot of the hill shows signs of drying up, to the annoyance of Thomas Tyrwhitt Drake, who, poor man, was present in his wheeled chair, which he propels himself ...