This portrait was designed to be hung with a companion portrait of the sitter’s husband, Sir James Ibbetson, High Sheriff of Yorkshire, also painted by Hoppner. Both works were probably painted between 1780 and 1790, and remained in the hands of the Ibbetson family and descendants in Yorkshire until they came onto the market in the early 20th century. At the time when they were painted, copies of both were produced by Hoppner’s studio for Lady Ibbetson’s uncle. These were still in the family in the late 20th century, but were both destroyed by a fire at the family home of Fingringhoe Hall, Essex, in 1976.
Agnews acquired both the original portraits, from different sources, in the course of 1911. They sold them in turn to Christies in 1918, and Leggatt Bros bought them from Christies in this year, the Lady Ibbetson for 1000gs, the Sir James Ibbetson for the much smaller sum of 110gs. Leggatt’s sold this latter work to a Count Matsukata of Japan, where it was still recorded as being in the 1970s. The other was bought from them by Bailey.