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Philip Proger (1585–1644), of Gwerndu in Breconshire (Powys), was equerry to James I and later groom of the Privy Chamber. This picture is the earliest known portrait of a Welshman holding a leek. At the Tudor and Stuart courts the Sovereign and courtiers wore leeks on Saint David's Day. James I commented on this practice, 'that the wearing of leeks on Saint David's Day by Welshmen was a good and commendable fashion.
oil on canvas
H 104.5 x W 83.7 cm
NMW A 18
purchased at Phillips, 1988
Inscribed by hand Label stretcher, top right Charles Proger M.P. / He wrote a treatise on the leek / died 12 April 1712 / This picture by Jansens (?) Label, printed Thom. AGNEWS & SONS LTD CK W.O 0293/88 Label, printed stretcher, top left THOS AGNEW & SONS LTD 131181 Label, printed frame, verso top middle JAMES BOURLET & SONS Frame Makers and Packers PICTURES RELINED, CLEANED & VARNISHED J.A. Arnold Forster, Esq., Salthorp House Swindon, WiltsLabel, printed Label, printed frame, verso, left Pa