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unknown artist, eighteenth century

A Family Being Served with Tea, possibly the Carter family

Former Title(s):

A Family Being Served with Tea

ca. 1745
Oil on canvas
Support (PTG): 42 x 55 inches (106.7 x 139.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
biscuit | conversation piece | family | food | interior | man | music | painting (visual work) | piano | pianoforte | portrait | servant | table | tea | tea set | teapot | window | women
Not on view

Created by an unknown artist ca. 1740, possibly for Richard Carter (1672-1755) of Chilton, Buckinghamshire; thence presumably by descent to his son George Richard Carter (died 1771); by descent to his sister Martha Catherine Carter (ca. 1712-1788) and her husband Sir Thomas Aubrey (1708-1786); by descent to their son John Aubrey (1739-1826) of Boarstall, Buckinghamshire, and Dorton, Buckinghamshire and his wife and first cousin Martha Catherine (1765-1815) daughter of George Richard Carter (died 1771); by descent their niece Elizabeth Aubrey (1792-1873) and her husband Charles Spencer Ricketts (died 1867); by descent to their son Charles Aubrey Ricketts (1814-1901); by descent to his third cousin once removed Henry Aubrey-Fletcher fourth Baronet, (1835-1910); by descent to his nephew Major Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher, sixth Baronet (1887-1969) of Chilton House, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire to 1934; his sale, Sotheby’s, London, December 12, 1934 as “Conversation Piece: Group of the Carter Family” by Joseph Highmore [1]; bought by “Stanley” 120 gns; Nellie Ionides (1883-1962), London to at least 1962; her sale Sotheby’s, London, as “The Carter Family” by Francis Hayman, May 29, 1963 (lot 107); bought by Bennison (300 gns), to 1964; P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., 1964; bought by Paul Mellon (1907-1999) May 1964; by whom gifted to the Yale Center for British Art, 1976.


[1] The Aubrey family left Chilton in 1930 thus the sale.

Malcolm Cormack, A Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 34-35, N590.2 A83 (YCBA)

Beatrice Hohenegger, Steeped in History, The Art of Tea , Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, 2009, p. 154, GT2905 .S84 2009 + (YCBA)

Painting in England 1700-1850 from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, The Royal Academy of Arts Winter Exhibition 1964-65., , Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK, 1964, p. 7, no. 19, ND466 R68 1964/65 (YCBA) Also available on Microfiche: Fiche B214 (YCBA)

Kate Retford, The Conversation Piece Making Modern Art in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2017, p. 89, p. 90, fig. 72, fig 73 (detail), ND1314.4 .R48 2017 (LC) Oversize (YCBA)

Amanda Vickery, Behind closed doors, at home in Georgian England , Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn. London, 2009, pl. 34, HQ615 .V53 2009 (YCBA)

Yale University Art Gallery, Painting in England, 1700-1850, from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, [exhibition at] Yale University Art Gallery, April 15-June 20, 1965. , vol. 1, W. Clowes and sons, New Haven, 1965, p. 54, no. 201, ND466 Y35 (YCBA)

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