E. Phillips Fox was a favourite portraitist of Melbourne’s wealthy upper middle classes and renowned as an excellent painter of children. Dolly, the eldest daughter of William Hammond Clegg, a successful Toorak stockbroker, was aged around six when this commission was painted. Depicted lost in thought, Dolly is the quintessential picture of angelic Victorian innocence. Fox has taken great care to render the detail of her clothing, showing her ‘best dress’ of pale blue crepôn with a wide lace collar and cream satin sash.
timber, composition, gold leaf, metal leaf (patinated)
The frame on Dolly, Daughter of Hammond Clegg Esq. came into the collection with the painting in 2013. It can reasonably be attributed to Melbourne frame maker John Thallon. It uses an imbricated laurel leaf and berry torus as the primary component of the frame with the addition of a slip to provide a housing and clear sight edge for the painting. The torus in centered and banded.
This is a very reduced frame form, leaning heavily to the frame as a garland around the painting.
Frames with this profile are found a number of times in John Thallons ledger from 1888-1903, notably associated with entries for Frederick McCubbin.