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This ‘conversation pieceportrait shows two wealthy Norfolk squires resting after a day’s shooting. On the left is Hambleton Custance of Weston, who was about to marry a local heiress; his festive clothes and the bird he holds in his hand pose may refer to this. On the right is Thomas Nuthall, solicitor to the East India Company. He might be shown here as the unsuccessful suitor comforted by his dog; he remained single until he married his friend’s widow in 1757.

September 2004