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A watercolour depicting a ball held at Balmoral, with guests seen dancing a reel and the Queen and her party seated in the alcove on the left. Signed, dated and inscribed: //Wm. Simpson. /1882/The Ball Room Balmoral Castle//.
At an exhibition of Simpson's works held in 1899-1900 at Graves's Galleries, Pall Mall, a number of views of Balmoral and the surrounding countryside were displayed. The 'Graphic' mentioned a watercolour of Queen Victoria 'presiding over a quiet dance at Balmoral Castle'. It seems most likely that this, and the other Balmoral works exhibited, were Simpson's sketches for the finished watercolours and not the finished watercolours themselves in the Royal Collection.
William Simpson enjoyed almost continual royal patronage for a period of forty years. He was often commissioned to record what was described in his autobiography (1903) as //not. . . the great events, marriages and the like - but. . . the lesser ceremonies// for the Queen's album.
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