Mystery Painting

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Can you solve a mystery for us? We're trying to find out about this painting of Boulter's Lock which was discovered in Canada in January 1999. Diedrich, the new owner explains:

I found it at an antique/junk shop in the middle of nowhere in Saskatchewan (that's a real place, a Province actually, here in Canada) while on a cross-county trip. The owner got it at an auction, and knew nothing. He also had a pair of small paintings by the same artist and the same subject of boaters and water, which must also have been the Thames River, though they weren't labelled. One of these was exceptionally nice, but as they were priced as a pair I left them behind. The one I have has no frame and is in somewhat less than perfect condition, though thankfully none of the paint has peeled. It's oilpaint on canvas, around 35 X 65cm in size. The stretcher frame on the back is clearly labelled "Boulters Locke at Maidenhead on Thames". The painters signature is "R. Allan" about whom I know nothing (local painter?). I also have no idea as to the date of the painting. I found a list of Artist Union membership on the Web which lists as British painters: R. Allan (op. 19th C.), Robert Weir Allan (1851 - 1942), Ronald Allan (b. 1900), Rosemary Allan (b.1911). The first 2 show up on a trade Web Site as having paintings of Windsor Castle to their credit. One of these? Dunno, kind of fun trying to find out though.

Painting of Boulter's Lock
Boulter's Lock - but when? Note the copyright of the image above does not belong to Paul Baker.

The building shown must be Ray Mill House, part of the mill, and now Boulter's Lock Hotel. A bolter was a miller - hence this is "miller's lock."

So, any ideas? Who's the artist R. Allan? Can you date the painting? View a larger version by clicking on the image (you'll have to select BACK on your browser to get back here). If you think you can help, use the feedback pages.

UPDATES

12 November 1999 - one reader confirms the artist is Robert Weir Allan.
27 January 2002 - a reader comments "This painting dates from 1890-1908 - when the lock was refurbished."

It's a tranquil scene, we wonder what the three rowers would have thought of today's version, below.

Present day Boulter's Lock
Boulter's Lock, July 1997


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