Sir Thomas Wharton

Painted by Van Dyck in 1639, Sir Thomas was a royalist and member of the Oxford parliament in exile during the war. Interestingly his brother Philip, Baron Wharton was prominent for Parliament, commanding a regiment in the Earl of Essex’s army for a while. Even allowing for Van Dyck’s customary embellishment of his subjects, Sir Thomas is sumptuously dressed as the military man, with an embroidered silk doublet and breeches, short buffcoat, tied with metallic cord and a red garter ribbon. Notice the shirt has been pulled out for effect where his buffcoat has been left untied. His falling band is plain, but his boots and boothose are quite magnificent. The ostrich plume on his hat isn’t a cheap accessory either. The original hangs in the Hermitage museum, St Petersburg.

Detail of the boots.

I’d love to know what the insignia is hanging from his left hip on a red scarf. I originally thought it was the Order of the Garter, but the riband ought to be a shade of blue and the medal definitely isn’t a lesser George.

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7 Comments to “Sir Thomas Wharton”

  1. what do you think the gold is hanging from his gorget?

  2. I think it’s the lacing of his buffcoat, unless you mean the medal on the red sash. This seems to be some kind of insignia. Not sure what though!

  3. It is the Order of the Bath, isn’t it?

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