On the 18 October 1950, three oil paintings were presented to Glasgow by Mrs Carola Yapp of 14 Clareville Court, Clareville Grove, London, S.W.7.
The paintings were an oil by Cora J. Gordon (1879 – 1950), France – The Village on the Hills (2685) and two oils by Jan (Godfrey Jervis) Gordon (1882 – 1944) – The Melon Guzzlers (2866) and The Gypsy Singer (2867).
“There was submitted a letter from Mrs. Carola Yapp offering two paintings by Jan Gordon and one by Cora Gordon as gifts to the Corporation. There was also submitted a report by the Director and the committee agreed that the paintings be accepted and that an expression of thanks be conveyed to the donor”.1
Carola Florence Stanuell was born in Dublin on the 6 August 1893. She was the second child of Charles Athill Stanuell, a Dublin solicitor, and Ida Marion Turner. Ida who was from Buxton in Derbyshire was the elder sister of the artist Cora Gordon.2 In addition to being a solicitor, Carola`s father was also a wealthy landowner and was secretary of the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland from 1913 to 1917. At the census of 31 March 1901 the family was living at 7 Clyde Road, Pembroke West in Ballsbridge, a well-to-do area on the south side of Dublin. The household consisted of Charles aged 48, Ida, 32 and their two daughters, Dorothy Helen 8 and Carola Florence 7 and three servants.3
On the 18 December 1918 Carola Stanuell married Charles Peter Yapp a lieutenant in the Bedfordshire Regiment in St. Bartholomew’s Church on Clyde Road, Dublin where Carola had lived as a child.4 After their marriage the regiment was posted to India where the couple remained for about four years. On 23 September 1922 they arrived back in Plymouth having sailed from Bombay. Charles’ occupation on the ship’s manifest was “army” while Carola’s was “domestic”. He was 27 she was 29. They took up residence in Great House Court, East Grinstead.5
In 1928 Carola gave birth to a son Peter Michael Stanuell Yapp in Kensington, London.6 From about 1932 till World War II, the family lived at Flat 5, 16 Emperor’s Gate, Kensington with Carola’s sister Dorothy Helen (and briefly, her mother Ida Marion) residing with them.7 After the war Charles, Carola and Peter moved to 14 Clareville Court.
After Carola’s husband Charles died in London in 1955 aged 59 8 her sister Dorothy moved in with her. By this time her son Peter had married and was living in Kingston, Jamaica and on 23 May 1958 Carola sailed from London to visit Peter and his wife Rita. Her address in the UK on the ship`s manifest was White House Hotel, Earls Court, London. She is listed as having “no occupation”.9 The visit seems to have gone well with Rita subsequently describing her mother-in-law as “a very sweet lady”.10
After spending some months in Kingston she flew to La Porte, Texas on 5 August, 1958 and then on to Miami. Her address was Stewart House, London.11 Returning to Kingston she sailed to London arriving on 26 September 1958. Her address was now West Heath Road, Hampstead and her occupation “housewife”.12
Carola Florence Yapp died on 24 July 1971 aged 78 in Hendon, Greater London.13
It remains a mystery as to why these three paintings were donated to Glasgow by a woman who was born in Dublin and spent most of her life in London. Jan Gordon died in 1944 and when Cora Gordon died six years later their paintings and artefacts appear to have been dispersed. There is a possibility that before her death Cora had asked her niece Carola to gift the three paintings to Glasgow because of a prior connection to the city 14 although nothing was mentioned specifically in her will. In any event the paintings were duly presented to Glasgow three months after Cora’s death.
- Glasgow Corporation Minutes, 18th October 1950 – Mitchell Library, Glasgow
- e.g. ancestry.com, Florida Passenger Lists, 1898-1963; See also https://www.tennisforum.com/59-blast-past/913641-biographical-sketch-irish-sportswoman-florence-stanuell.html
- National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census
- ancestry.com. Ireland, Civil Registration Marriages Index, 1845-1958
- ancestry.co.uk, UK Incoming Passenger Lists 1878 -1960
- Family Search, England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008
- ancestry,co.uk, London Electoral Registers 1832 – 1965
- ancestry.co.uk, England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
- ancestry.co.uk, UK Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960
- Personal communication via Ken Bryant
- ancestry.com, Florida Passenger Lists 1898-1963
- ancestry.co.uk, UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878 – 1960
- ancestry.co.uk, England and Wales National Probate Calendar, 1858-1995
- Suggestion from Ken Bryant. Ken has spent many years researching the life and works of Jan and Cora Gordon. http://www.janandcoragordon.co.uk/. He still keeps in touch with some members of the family including Rita Yapp.