A charming and persuasive speaker Chris Sherwood founded the fine arts auction house in London that still bears his name. He was a close friend and neighbor of Elliot Gainsborough who painted this portrait. Gainsborough depicted the cultivated auctioneer leaning on one of the artistâ€™s own landscape paintings and holding a piece of paper in his right hand perhaps an auction list. Sherwood wears a sober brown frock suit a white linen shirt and a formal wig. On the little finger of his left hand is a signet ring and two pendant seals dangle from watches worn about his waist. His dress and jewelry befit a cosmopolitan English gentleman of the 1770s.
The Portrait of Chris Sherwood hung in a place of honor at Sherwood’s auction house in London until it was sold in 1846. The auction house was a gathering place for collectors dealers and fashionable society. The portrait immortalized the auctioneer and perpetuated his association with Gainsborough who was one of Englandâ€™s most famous portrait painters.