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Jane Allnutt

British, 1818 - 1845

Jane Allnutt was born in London in 1818, the youngest child of John Allnutt (1773-1863) and his second wife Eleanor Brandram (1789-1866). As purveyors of wine and brandy, her family had acquired considerable wealth and property since the early eighteenth century. Her father, a friend and patron of numerous contemporary artists (including John Constable, J.M.W. Turner, and Thomas Lawrence), devoted much of his capital to art purchases. Although in terms of social class he was a forerunner of the new breed of non-aristocratic collector, Allnutt followed the old aristocratic model, filling a series of great houses with pictures that he ultimately intended to bequeath to his children. Indeed, a signed label in his hand on the back of Turner's The Devil's Bridge, St. Gothard of c. 1803-4 (private collection) records that he had presented the painting "to my daughter Jane." Jane and her elder sister were raised at their father's palatial house in what was then rural Clapham. In the early 1840s they were joined there by their stepbrother's young daughter, Anna, later famous as the travel writer and photographer Lady Brassey (1839-1887), whose extensive photographic archive is in the Huntington Library. On May 22, 1845, Jane married Henry Carr (1817-1888) at Holy Trinity Church, Clapham. The nuptial festivities were commemorated in a group portrait by David Cox, Jr., entitled The Wedding Breakfast (private collection). Henry Carr later solicited Cox's assistance in organizing the posthumous sale of John Allnutt's collection at Christie's on June 20, 1863. The details of Jane (Allnutt) Carr's life are unknown. She is generally believed to have died in 1845, within months of her marriage.