Monday

Pamelia Hill - portrait of Eliza Cabot Blanchard



Miniatures by the American artist, Pamelia Hill (1803-60) are uncommon. Some sources give her name as Pamela Hill, but Pamelia is the correct spelling.



The miniature is signed on the reverse "Painted by Pamelia Hill June 1842".



The Smithsonian has one example by her, where it is stated, "Little is known about the miniaturist Pamelia Hill, except that she worked in Massachusetts before the Civil War and painted several portraits of prominent Worcester families."

The miniature was purchased on Ebay from a seller in France, who had previously purchased it at an auction in France. How it reached France is an unexplained puzzle.


ds 1524

For more on this miniature, see further below.




Later
A very kind visitor has since contacted me, to advise that there is the attached photograph of this miniature in the Frick Collection of images. https://digitalcollections.frick.org/digico/#/  It is rare to be able to identify an unnamed portrait so the contact was very welcome.

There the sitter is identified as  Eliza Cabot Blanchard, who died of tuberculosis in 1842. From that key information it has been possible to learn a little more about her life.

Eliza (sometimes Elizabeth) was adopted by Samuel Pickering Gardner (1767-1843) and Rebecca Russell Lowell (1779-1853) after she lost her parents to tuberculosis in 1814.   

See https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=NmESepXN0vYC&pg=PA8&lpg=PA8&dq=Eliza+Cabot+Blanchard&source=bl&ots=Ec23eYJbAz&sig=ACfU3U0k9ZuVsmGF8jX0yT35xMewe7X4Mw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi-sPjDpefgAhWCaCsKHedSBoUQ6AEwBHoECAYQAQ#v=onepage&q=Eliza%20Cabot%20Blanchard&f=false

Eliza's was born in 1809, and her parents were Francis Blanchard and Mary Cabot, and after they died she was adopted by the Gardeners. Eliza married Robert Charles Winthrop on 12 March 1832.  See, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Blanchard-674, Robert and Elizabeth had three children:
  • Robert Charles Winthrop, Jr. (1834–1905), who married Frances Pickering Adams (1836–1860). After her death, he married Elizabeth Mason (1844–1924), daughter of Robert Means Mason (1810–1879) and Sarah Ellen Francis (1819–1865) and granddaughter of Jeremiah Mason, on June 1, 1869.
  • Elizabeth "Eliza" Cabot Winthrop (1838–1921)[15]
  • John Winthrop (b. 1841)

Eliza died on 14 Jun 1842, believed to also be from tuberculosis. Thus this portrait must have either been painted from life, just before she died, or perhaps more likely was was painted from an earlier daguerreotype taken in the months before she died.

Robert Charles Winthrop then married Laura (nee Derby) Welles, widow of Arnold Francis Welles, on 6 November 1849. Laura died in 1861 and  0n November 15, 1865, Robert was married for the third and final time, to Adele (née Granger) Thayer (1820–1892), the widow of John E. Thayer.   Robert was the 18th Speaker of the US House of Representatives, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Charles_Winthrop

P. Phillips - early 20C portrait of a man





This is an American miniature portrait on ivory from c.1930-40, in a typical metal frame of the time.

It is signed P. Phillips, which is not the name of a recognised artist. It is not readily discernible as on a photographic base, but that may be the medium, with Phillips as the name of the photographer, who then arranged for the hand colouring of the portrait. 

There was an American miniature painter, Josephine Phillips who was active in 1934-38, so she may have been a relative of the artist.

ds 1523

Unknown - portrati of young girl c.1800-10



This miniature of a young girl is believed to be American for several reasons, firstly as the reverse is solid metal and is engraved in large letters HTG, so perhaps her first name was Harriet. Solid backs on miniatures of this size, are occasionally met with in America, but practically never on British miniatures, it being 71mm by 58mm.

Although it is a very similar pose to works by William Verstile (1755-1803) or Lawrence Sully (1769-1804), it is possibly too late for either of them. ds 1502

St Memim - portrait of William Poyntell


This miniature portrait was merely described at auction as, "Miniature Etching Of Distinguished Gentleman 19th Cent". Hence it was cheap.

However, it was immediately obvious as a Saint Memin portrait, being inscribed at the foot, "Drawn and Engr. by St. Memin, Philadd." see Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin - Wikipedia ...

With such engraved portraits it is usually possible to identify the sitter by reference to the book by Ellen G Miles which lists hundreds of examples with their images, see Saint-Mémin and the neoclassical profile portrait in America

One of the joys of collecting miniature portraits, although rarely possible, is to take an unidentified sitter and so to speak "bring them back to life". 

This one took a while to work through from the A's (thankfully his name was not Wyatt!), before being matched with a portrait of William Poyntell, who died in 1811 and was an eminent merchant and publisher. There is an extensive obituary for him in The Gentleman's Magazine, see The Gentleman's Magazine which opens:

"Sept 10 1811 Died at his house in Philadelphia, in his 56th year, universally lamented, William Poyntell, esq. late Merchant, and one of the Select Council of that city. He had retired from business several years having acquired an ample fortune, of which he merited the enjoyment by the most inflexible integrity in all his dealings and transactions with whomsoever he was engaged. Mr Poyntell was an Englishman, and his character holds forth so bright an example of usefulness and private worth, that we are persuaded we shall stand excused for entering upon it more at large. He was born at Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, and baptized in the parish church there, April 9, 1756. ...."

He sold stationery and wall papers, there being a picture of scales sold by him at The Price of Freedom: Money Scales  and wallpaper at Stanley Y. Klos: Imlay Mansion There is a picture of his grave at  William Poyntell (1756 - 1811) - Find A Grave Memorial and discussion of his art collecting activities at  William Poyntell (1756–1811) - Springer and 'All my stained glass which I brought from Europe' ds 1500

Unknown - c.1820 portrait of young man in small case


This is an American miniature portrait from c.1820, but much smaller than usual for the time, the sight size being 43mm by 35mm.

It is a good example of an early American designed case, as a result of the Embargo Act, but with proper materials still in short supply. Thus apart from the portrait itself, this is a case size which is unusual. There only a couple of other 19C American cases of this size in the collection, and so I estimate that size represents less than one percent of miniature cases from 1800-50.

When advertised it was described as "English oval framed 1770-1790, young man", but is definitely later and American, so an indication sellers often have inaccurate descriptions. Although the image is out of focus, the artist is perhaps Daniel Dickinson or Thomas Edwards. ds 1499



Unknown - portrait of a young lady


This miniature portrait of a young lady is a little smaller than usual for the time, c.1815, being 50mm by 40mm.

It is by an American artist and is in what  I call a "make-do" case. That is it dates from about 1815, around the time of the war of 1812, when the Embargo Act was in place which prevented artists from getting supplies of new casework from England. Hence artist were forced to use what ever left over materials they could find to combine and produce "make-do" cases.

I have written elsewhere on how many dealers replace the cases of miniatures like this to make them more saleable, but as a historian, I believe they should be retained in their "make-do" cases, as a more honest condition and a reminder of the interesting history of events around the Embargo Act.

It was suggested her married name was possibly a Mrs Goadlow [Goodlow?] and the rear is engraved with her initials, presumably when unmarried, JWD or IWD, so there may be a faint chance of identifying her.

The artist is a puzzle, as the quality is high, but not easily recognisable. Possibilities include Raphael Peale, as the background colouring is similar to his work, Anson Dickinson, or Hugh Bridport.

The engraving on the rear of the case is not common and the tiny glass is another indication of the Embargo Act, as high quality glass was unavailable in America at the time. The brooch fitting is broken off, but is more recent, perhaps 20 years later. ds 1498








Charles Balthazar St Memin - Chief of the Little Osages


St Memin Chief of the Little Osages - small ds 1518
Chief of the Little Osages by St Memin

This miniature portrait is a little larger than most miniatures in this collection, but is believed genuine.

It was acquired on Ebay from a reputable London UK art dealer who described it, "This picture was purchased from a folder of prints and drawing at my local Sunday antique market recently, this is the only provenance I have for the piece  therefore I am offering the drawing as after St Memin." 

The portrait was offered at an opening bid of $225 and acquired at a price a little above that.

There are already in this collection a couple of St Memin engravings, and my library includes a copy of the comprehensive St Memin catalogue (460 pages) prepared by Ellen G. Miles. Hence, there was more confidence in being prepared to take a calculated risk.

By comparison with other Indian portraits by St Memin, before bidding it was possible to come to a preliminary opinion the portrait was possibly genuine. This opinion was reinforced when the miniature arrived. The quality being too good for a fake, especially when offered for sale at $225.
After the auction closed, I did ask the dealer if he had communicated with anyone in USA about it, but he replied he had not.

NYHS St Memin Chief of the Little Osages large
In referring to the catalogue, the portrait appears as a final, but smaller version of large one owned by NYHS, Cat. 161 (Fig. 7-22), but in red and black chalk, and on watermarked paper. These portraits were sketched by St Memin of the Osages who were with the first delegation to Washington in 1804.

St-Memin used a device that projected the subject's images onto paper and then were traced, so their outlines were perfectly represented. The smaller portraits were probably made by reversing the process, to sketch the smaller portrait by copying the larger portraits.

The size of ds 1518 is 7.5 x 5.5 inches, which is similar to these other small portraits in the catalogue, Cat. 162 (7.25 x 6.5in), Cat. 634 (7.25 x 6 5/16in), Cat. 636 (7.25 x 6.75in), Cat. 637 (5 7/8 x 4.25in), Cat. 746 (7.25 x 6.5in), and Cat. 976 (7.25 x 6.25in). Thus, they are all likely all cut down from larger sheets.

When held to the light, there is a sideways part watermark on ds 1518, very similar, but not identical, to fig. 4.8. On the edge are several stitch holes similar to those on Cat. 633.  See the images further below


The six smaller portraits above are watercolours, rather than chalk, and in looking through the catalogue I see Indian portraits in black and white chalk, but not obviously in red and black chalk. I am inclined to the opinion that the NYHS version was a preliminary portrait, with the medium one below as a version in red and black, reduced in size, and ds 1518 as the final version in red and black chalk. 

As with his portraits of colonists, St Memin drew his Indian portraits using a machine to get a large and accurate profile. This was then hand coloured with watercolour paints. The outline could then be reproduced via a pantograph on a reduced scale. Thus, his miniature portraits would have been reproduced in that manner, with this one hand-coloured in chalk rather than using watercolours.



The signature appears similar to genuine items, but I accept a signature is often the last item to consider in attributing an artwork.The signature in at the extreme bottom right, whereas the Christies version is at middle left. The re-positioning being selected to give a better balance. It is also likely any fake would seek to show the signature in the same position as on the Christies version.

Christies 30/1/1997 medium
I note another version of the portrait at http://www.artnet.com/artists/charles-balthazar-julien-fevret-de-saint-m%C3%A9min/the-chief-of-the-little-osages-2FZjkVkDZPk1QXyXy7HU0g2 

This has marginally less detail than ds 1518, and a similar signature, but placed at centre left, rather than bottom right. I do not know where that version currently resides, but that link appears to refer to the portrait offered by Christies, where the medium is also red and black chalk. .

Interestingly it is reportedly 12.4in by 7.7in, i.e. a sheet of paper which, if cut in half, would give two pieces, each close to the size of the version here, and to the other six noted above. 

It was offered by Christies as lot 215 on 30 January 1997 with an estimate of $8,000-12,000, but appears to have been unsold. 



It was described as:

Reverse of ds 1518
Allowing for the extra width and depth on the medium image, I am of the opinion the actual heads of the medium and small miniatures are the same size. The small portrait is a little more complete, with more detail on the earring and the neckwear.

Accordingly, I am currently of the opinion that ds 1518 is a reduced, but final version of the larger versions.


With an apology to Ellen Miles for raising it, I do hope she will not regard me as impertinent, in suggesting that I tend to doubt, on pages 150-51, that Cat. 161. and Cat 162 in her catalogue are both the same sitter, at there are distinct differences.

Presumably NYHS has, for many years, claimed they are the same sitter? I sense 162 is related, via a similar profile, perhaps father or uncle, but he appears to be older than 161.

Apart from different clothing, the top of his hair leans a different way, his pig-tail is shorter, and his earring different. Also, a second covered pigtail is more clearly seen in the attached version of 161, whereas in 162 the second pigtail is uncovered.


St Memin ds 1518 watermark
Thus at present, although not yet 100% certain, I currently lean towards the ds 1518 miniature portrait as being genuine, based on the quality, the watermark, the technique, the paper, the size, the signature, and the appearance as a final version of both Cat 161 and the medium version.

It seems likely St Memin prepared the reduced portraits in answer to requests for copies. It therefore seems very possible there are more similar copies still unlocated. Hopefully, this brief essay may aid in bringing them to public attention.
St Memin ds 1518 signature









A possible explanation for the portrait being found in London, England, is that it was more easily transported than the large, preliminary drawings, and may have been acquired by a British collector in New York and taken to England.

However, I would be grateful for any other thoughts on this St Memin portrait. ds 1518.



Later
It is interesting to compare the above portrait with a portrait offered in March 2019 at auction by Skinners, and described as George Washington by St Memin. The description of the lot is as further below. 

I would have to say, I have some doubts about the Skinner portrait, as the signature is so different to the examples on the above St Memin's Chief of the Little Osage portrait and other in the Ellen Miles catalogue.

The signature is different, being more upright. St Memin did elsewhere add Fct, i.e. Fecit, to examples of his other signatures, such as Fig. 7.29 on page 157 of Ellen Miles Catalogue.On that portrait, the St Memin signature is similar to ds 1518 above.

The Skinner portrait of Washington appears to be a copy based upon the Washington portrait Fig 5:17 on page 101 in the Miles catalogue, but there are distinct differences of detail, and the overall style looks too modern to be by St Memin. That Miles portrait is described as;

 "Saint-Memin, George Washington, black and white chalk on paper, 1800. Unlocated; reproduced from Elizabeth Bryant Johnston, Original Portraits of Washington (Boston, 1882), plate 20 [Cat. no. 920]

The Skinner portrait is offered in this Auction:
American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 3222B
Location:
Boston
Date / Time :
March 02, 2019 10:00AM

Description:

Charles Balthazar Julien Fevret de Saint-Memin (New York, Philadelphia, France, 1770-1852)

Miniature Portrait of General George Washington
Signed and dated "C de Memin Ft./1798" along the left edge.
Watercolor and gouache on paper, 2 5/8 x 2 1/8 in., in a molded gilt-brass frame with textured mat and liner.
Condition: The mount with the image is separated from the frame, no obvious damage or retouch.

Provenance: The family in which the miniature descended is related to General Jacob Morgan (1742-1802). Morgan was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania. He moved to Philadelphia in the 1760s and became a successful merchant. In December 1776 he was appointed Colonel and commander of the 1st Battalion of Associators of the City of Philadelphia. He fought in the Battles of Princeton and Monmouth. After the war, he returned to private business and ran one of the country's first sugar refineries. 
Note: Charles Balthazar Julien Fevret de Saint-Memin is credited with having made the last portrait of George Washington taken from life. In November 1798, Washington visited Philadelphia to take command of the army for the impending war with France. Saint-Memin was in Philadelphia at the time and made arrangements with Washington to make a portrait. The present whereabouts of that portrait is unknown.

In this portrait, Washington is depicted bust length, facing to the left and wearing a blue General's uniform with buff facings and gold epaulette. The background consists of a sky mottled in tones of blue and brown. 

Estimate $15,000-25,000

Before the auction I expressed doubts about the portrait to Skinners, and received a reply as below:

6 March 2019 - Dear Mr. Shelton,

Thank you for your note regarding lot 47. To date the portrait has been examined in person by a large number of knowledgeable individuals who have seen no reason to question the portrait's authenticity. We can also note that it has descended in the consignor's family since the 18th century.

Best,

Chris


Later July 2019 - the portrait at the Skinner auction was reportedly sold for $67,000, but an observant collector has pointed out that Skinners now list the lot on their website as "Unsold". Thus, it seems other experts on St Memin shared my doubt about the Washington portrait, so the sale failed.

Separate Portrait
The Metropolitan Museum holds a portrait of a different chief which is helpful in analysis of the above portrait, described as;

 "Osage Warrior" is based on a drawing that Saint-Mémin made with a physionotrace, a device that mechanically reproduced an outline of a sitter’s profile. The artist then transferred the image to this sheet and painted it in watercolor, rendering his subject’s individualized facial features with delicate stippling and cross-hatching. The warrior wears beaded wampum ear-drops and silver ear rim bands, and his scalp is shaved except for a dyed lock of hair."




"Object Details
Artist: Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin (1770–1852)
Date: 1805–7
Geography: Made in France
Culture: American
Medium: Watercolor and graphite on off-white wove paper
Dimensions: 7 1/4 x 6 7/16 in. (18.4 x 16.4 cm)
Classification: Drawings
Credit Line: The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1954
Accession Number: 54.82"

"Provenance
 Sir Augustus John Foster; sale, Sotheby's, London, November 18, 1926, lot 635; with Goodspeed's Book Shop, Boston, 1927; Mr. and Mrs. Luke Vincent Lockwood, until 1954; sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, May 13-15, 1954, lot 438.

The provenance implies the portrait was part of a collection in London accumulated by Sir Augustus John Foster, 1st Baronet, GCH PC (1 or 4 December 1780 – 1 August 1848), a British diplomat and politician. Born into a notable British family, Foster served in a variety of diplomatic functions in continental Europe and the United States, interrupted by a short stint as a Member of Parliament. In 1805 he was sent to the United States as the Secretary to British legation, leaving in 1807 to become British chargé d'affaires, Stockholm, Sweden from 1808 to 1810. He was sent back to America in 1811 as Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, but returned to Britain in 1812 with the outbreak of the War of 1812, where he was promptly elected by Cockermouth, England to the House of Commons. 

Ending his service in Turin and his career in the British diplomatic service in 1840, Foster began drafting his Notes on the United States of America. Foster died in 1848 after cutting his throat at Branksea Castle; he had suffered from delirium because of poor health, and his death was ruled as the result of temporary insanity. His Notes on the United States of America would be rediscovered in a cupboard of his family's home in Northern Ireland in the 1930s, and published posthumously. 

Comment
The Metropolitan portrait is in watercolour and graphite, but the paper type and size is similar to ds1518. The signature is also similar, but with the addition of Fecit. One may deduce St Memin drew or painted versions of his portraits for sale to diplomats and other interested persons, with the price varying depending on crayon or watercolour. Likely selling preliminary sketches for lesser sums. While ds1518 is not claimed to have been in the Foster collection, his career offers a credible parallel as to how one of his staff may have purchased ds1518 in 1805-07, and it later ended up in a bundle of drawings and prints purchased from a dealer in London.

Another Portrait
A similar small portrait is owned by the NY Historical Society. It is interesting that both watercolour small portraits have the earrings complete, whereas ds 1518 has more obviously a sketch of the earring, implying it as an earlier, working, sketch. The NYHS portrait was Lot 439 and is described;

Unidentified Chief of the Little Osage ("Soldat du Chêne" ["Soldier of the Oak"?])

Object Number: 1954.101
Date: 1807
Medium: Watercolor, gouache, black ink, and graphite on paper, mounted on card
Dimensions: Overall: 7 1/4 x 6 3/8 in. ( 18.4 x 16.2 cm )
Marks: Signed and inscribed at lower left in black ink: "St. Memin fecit."; verso of old mount inscribed at upper center in brown ink: "Ozage"
Inscriptions: Signed and inscribed at lower left in black ink: "St. Memin fecit."; verso of old mount inscribed at upper center in brown ink: "Ozage"
Credit Line: Abbott Fund, with the help of Forsythe Wicks, John E. Parsons, and Edmund Astley Prentis
Provenance: Sir Augustus John Foster, Washington D.C.; descent through Foster's family; Sotheby's, London, 1826; Godspeed's Bookshop, Boston, 1927; Mr. And Mrs. Luke Vincent Lockwood, Greenwich, Conn.; Sold Parke-Bernet Gallery, Luke Vincent Lockwood Sale, item #439, May 13-15, 1954

 

Peale, Charles Willson - portrait of Colonel Charles Pope

Followers of these posts about collecting miniature portraits will be aware that by far the majority of this Artists and Ancestors collection has been acquired at eBay online auctions. Previous to the year 2000 some miniatures had been acquired at local auctions and antique shops, but locating them was time consuming as they were rarely seen. That situation altered in the year 2000 with the ability to buy online, and at the same time an early interest was sparked in American miniature portraits as, compared to British and European miniatures, they seemed so little researched.

That paucity of available research still largely prevails for American miniatures, so this website has sought to "publish" personal research on American artists from time to time to assist museums and other collectors who find the lack of research handicaps their work. Partly as a result of publishing that research and displaying American miniatures in the collection on the website (about 400 American miniatures at present, plus 600 British and European miniatures), there seems to have become a greater knowledge and awareness of American miniatures in the market place and hence greater price competition when examples are offered for sale! That is perhaps the downside of sharing research! - but as additions to the collection are now less frequent and for unsual items, that competition is happily accepted as the sign of a maturing interest in the subject.

I have commented before, (as have many others!) that in any area of collecting, those collectors with unlimited financial resources can achieve a collection of the very best in their chosen field. That equally applies in collecting miniature portraits. However, as this collector, in common with most average collectors, has limited financial resources, it is readily acknowledged that there are many items in this collection which are of only average quality. Part of the reason for that is that an element of self-discipline has been to seek to maintain an average purchase price of $400. That has acted as a challenge in seeking interesting items and an increasing brake on personal spending as prices in the market rose! There is believed to be far more "fun" and a greater ability to learn, in buying 50 or 100 miniatures over an extended period for an average of $400 each, compared with buying a single rare American miniature by Charles Willson Peale for $20,000, or even $40,000 if the sitter is an important one.

Although the average target has been largely maintained, occasional splurges have threatened the average. The miniature portrait here is a case in point, where an unrecognised Charles Willson Peale was acquired for far below the market value.

It was offered on eBay UK in June 2014 as:
Fine Georgian portrait miniature of a gentleman in solid gold frame. Please find for sale an extremely fine quality Georgian portrait miniature of a gentleman. The portrait has been beautifully well painted and is housed in a 9ct solid gold,unmarked but fully tested, frame which measures 4.7cm x 3.7cm. The watercolour measures 4.2cm x 3.2cm. The total weight is 14.2 grammes. Is offered in good condition.

Hence it was effectively offered as a portrait of an unknown sitter by an unknown artist, with most British bidders making the understandable deduction that it was by a British artist of the 18C, although not by Smart, Meyer or other important British artists of the later 18C.

However, for those more interested in American miniatures, it was possible to recognise the artist as being perhaps the most famous of all American artists, Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), who painted both miniatures and large oils. There is minor paint lost on his shoulder, and the case may be a replacement, but it is the only Charles Willson Peale noticed as offered on eBay in 15 years. On opening it, it was found that although difficult to read, the backing paper included the name Pope. That is most likely the name of the sitter. A polite query was sent to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington about the miniature and seeking any knowledge of a Pope as a sitter, but there was no reply. Thus it has been necessary to try and identify the sitter from basic knowledge. The most likely sitter seems to be Charles Pope, although that is not certain. The Society of the Cincinnati has prepared an extensive biography of Pope at  http://desocietyofthecincinnati.org/sofcweb/Biographies.htm  as follows, which is gratefully acknowledged:

Charles Pope 
Colonel John Haslet's Delaware State Troops in Continental Service; Commissioned Captain (5th Company), 18 January 1776; Wounded at the Battle of Mamaroneck, New York, 21 October 1776; Colonel David Hall's Delaware Regiment, Continental Line; Commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel, 5 April 1777. Resigned (on account of wounds), 13 December 1779. 

Charles Pope, born in 1748 at Duck Creek Cross Roads, was both an Army and Naval officer in Delaware service during the American Revolution. A prosperous merchant before the war with Britain, Pope in 1775 raised a company of militia and prepared to leave his home and business to fight for the American cause. In January 1776 he was commissioned Captain by the Continental Congress and his unit was accepted into service as the Fifth Company of Colonel John Haslet's Regiment of Delaware State Troops. Prior to the Regiment's leaving the State, Pope's Company was detached to guard against incursions by crews of British ships on the Delaware and to suppress loyalist activities in Kent and Sussex Counties. 

In July the Company rejoined the Regiment and took part in the Battles of Long Island and Mamaroneck. Captain Pope was cited in reports for gallantly at Long Island. At Mamaroneck the Regiment made a daring night attack on the camps of loyalist rangers under Colonel Robert Rogers of French and Indian War fame. Unfortunately for the Americans, Rogers had been uneasy about his position and put a full company of troops where only individual sentries had been expected. When the Americans fell upon them In the dark the Loyalists added to the confusion by taking up their attackers' cries of "Surrender, you tory dogs!" The advanced company of the enemy finally broke and ran and a number of prisoners were taken, but the hated Colonel Rogers escaped. During the fight Captain Pope was wounded in the leg. 

The term of service of Haslet's Regiment expired at the end of 1776 and the following year Pope was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the Delaware Continental Regiment under David Hall. That same year Hall's Delaware Regiment fought in the Battle of Brandywine and the Battle of Germantown, where Hall was wounded and Lieutenant Colonel Pope took command. While the Regiment rested in Wilmington during the winter of 1777-78 Delaware President George Read asked Pope to investigate reports of a British landing in Kent County. The invasion turned out to have been only a small raid that was over before Pope arrived. In April, however, Pope was again sent for when Cheney Clow attempted armed insurrection in Delaware, and this time he arrived in time to take action. Even as a detachment of Continentals was marching south from Wilmington Pope led a band of Delaware militia against the Tory "fort," routed its defenders without a serious fight, and captured about fifty of the Loyalists. Pope returned to his Regiment, which rejoined the main army in the spring, and led them at the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778. 

In June 1779 Pope was court-martialed on the charge of using a soldier of the Delaware regiment "in his domestic business in the spring and summer of 1778." The court found the charge "groundless" and "aquit him of it with honor." Later in the year he became ill and left the Army, retiring in December. Retirement from the Army was not the end of the War for Pope, however, and within a year he accepted command of the Delaware Navy, a small force of leased ships that was expected to protect the Delaware coast and river traffic. Pope himself commanded three different ships during the final years of the War. 

With the end of the War Pope returned to Duck Creek Crossroads and became quite rich. When he moved to Georgia in the closing years of the eighteenth century he sold a plantation of 270 acres with a house and new barn, a farm of 150 acres, a complex of wharves and grain storage buildings on the Duck Creek, a lot in the town of Duck Creek Crossroads on which stood a tavern and a tanyard, his original brick store in the center of town, and his town home consisting of two-storey brick house, nursery, kitchen, stable, carriage house, smoke house, and granary. Charles Pope was married twice. His first wife, Jane Stokesly, bore him five children, all sons. She died in 1793. Pope's second wife was Sarah Simpson, whom he married in 1799; there were no children. Pope died in Georgia on February 16, 1803, and was buried there on his farm in Columbia County.

However, the Cincinnati biography also displays this portrait said to be of Colonel Charles Pope. As will be obvious it is quite a different person, but it should be noted that his hair, side burns, and clothing more closely resemble those fashionable around 1810-1815 and he looks to be aged around 30 to 35 years old. Although appearing to be based upon a miniature portrait, the image was not painted by CW Peale, nor is it easily attributable to any other American artist of the late 18C. The soldier Charles Pope was born in 1748 and died in 1803, so it seems unlikely that this image is of that Charles Pope. Therefore he is more likely from the following generation, as Colonel Pope had a son also named Charles Pope, who was born on 26 Nov 1780 in Duck Creek Crossing, Smyrna, Kent, DE. He died on 30 November 1812 and thus better fits the fashions and age depicted in the Cincinnati portrait.

It is not uncommon for family histories to become garbled when passed on by word of mouth. A number of instances have arisen with this collection and in answering queries from visitors. Study of the clothing, hair, and any identification of the artist can often narrow down the search and sometimes enable an identification. Thus, in making a comparison with the Peale miniature, Colonel Charles Pope was born in 1748, and in 1778 he would have been aged 30, which better fits the hair and clothing depicted in the Peale miniature. Pope was also a successful man and thus quite likely to have commissioned Peale to paint a miniature portrait, as did many other officers at the time when Peale was busy painting many of them. 1495

Wednesday

Burt, Albin Roberts - portrait of Zerah Colburn

This miniature portrait was painted by a British artist in England, but has been included in an American Gallery as it is of a famous 19C American maths prodigy. The vendor did not realise that and so it was merely advertised as;
 Albin Roberts BURT (1783 – 1842) “Zerah Cobourn”. A portrait of a youthful Oxford academic bedecked in his gown, possibly an American as no British census records exist for the name Zerah Cobourn.

Some of the writing on the rear is hard to read, but Zerah Cobourn (for Colburn) can be read at the top. He was born on 1 September 1804 and died on 2 March 1839, being a child prodigy of the 19th century who gained fame as a mental calculator. There is more about him at Zerah Colburn (math prodigy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia He also wrote a book about his life which is available at A memoir of Zerah Colburn: written by himself.

Albin Burt began his career as an engraver being a pupil of Robert Thew and Benjamin Smith. However, finding himself unable to excel in this department, he took to painting portraits. He worked at various locations and in 1817, the date of this miniature, his studio was at 113 High Street, Oxford. He often signed his miniatures verso,  AR Burt or simply Burt followed by a date and place. He was a successful miniaturist charging upwards of 3 guineas for a portrait on ivory. Burt exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1807 and 1830.






















Previous to the discovery of this portrait, the only known image of him was as a young boy in an engraving depicting Zerah Colburn at age nine, from a drawing done by F. Baily, Esq., done in London. In a close up of the portrait it is possible to see that, like his father and two brothers, Zerah was born with 24 digits. His six fingers are detectable in and enlargement of his left hand.As mentioned below, the extra fingers were removed by the polymath and surgeon, Sir Anthony Carlisle in 1815.

Colburn was born in Cabot, Vermont, in 1804. He was thought to be intellectually disabled until the age of seven. However, after six weeks of schooling his father overheard him repeating his multiplication tables. His father wasn't sure whether or not he learned the tables from his older brothers and sisters but he decided to test him further on his mathematical abilities and discovered that there was something special about his son when Zerah correctly multiplied 13 and 97. Colburn's abilities developed rapidly and he was soon able to solve such problems as the number of seconds in 2,000 years, the product of 12,225 and 1,223, or the square root of 1,449. When he was seven years old he took six seconds to give the numbers of hours in thirty-eight years, two months, and seven days. 1481

Zerah Colburn and his family were studied in detail by Sir Anthony Carlisle (1768-1840), one of the unsung heroes of the study of evolution who deserves far more attention than he has received. The following are some extracts from more research into Carlisle's study of evolution. Sadly, his personal papers are lost, so it has only been possible to determine the nature of his research from his published papers. Carlisle stressed the risks of inter-breeding and its consequent effect on species, in letters he wrote in 1838 to Alexander Walker where Carlisle used the phrase 'selecting the fit', twenty-six years before Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) wrote of 'survival of the fittest' in his "Principles of Biology" of 1864, and twenty years before Darwin wrote "On the Origin of Species".
The highly interesting subject upon which you are writing is remarkably suited to the passing time in our country. Our aristocracy, by exclusive intermarriages among ancient families, proceed blindly to breed in contempt of deformities, of feeble intellect, or of hereditary madness, under the instigation of pride or the love of wealth, until their race becomes extinct; while another portentous cause, that of unwholesome factories, threatens to deteriorate the once brave manhood of England. I believe that, among mankind, as well as domesticated animals, there are physical and moral influences which may be regulated so as to improve or predispose both the corporeal and moral aptitudes, and certainly the most obvious course is that of selecting the fit [my emphasis] progenitors of both sexes.i
i Carlisle, A, quoted in Walker, Alexander, Intermarriage, London, John Churchill, 1838, p ii

Much earlier, in fact 25 years earlier, prior to Christmas December 1813, Carlisle tabled a paper, which included mention of the Colburn family, to the Royal Society, On Monstrosity in the Human Species;
The following account of a family having hands and feet with supernumerary fingers and toes, and the hereditary transmission of the same peculiarity to the fourth generation appears to be worth preserving, since it displays the influence of each of the propagating sexes: the male and the female branches of the original stem having alike reproduced this redundancy of parts. ...
In every department of animal nature, accumulation of facts must always be desirable, that more reasonable inductions may be established concerning the laws which direct this interesting part of creation: and it might be attended with the most important consequences, if discovery could be made of the relative influence of the male and female sex in the propagation of peculiarities, and the course and extent of hereditary character could be ascertained, [my emphasis] both as it affects the human race in their moral and physical capacities, and as it governs the creatures which are subdued for civilized uses. Nor is it altogether vain to expect, that more profound views, and more applicable facts await the researches of men, who have as yet only begun to explore this branch of natural history, by subjecting it to physical rules. [my emphasis] … Though the causes which govern the production of organic monstrosities, or which direct the hereditary continuance of them may for ever remain unknown, it still seems desirable to ascertain the variety of those deviations, and to mark the course they take, where they branch out anew, and where they terminate. There is doubtless a general system in even the errors of nature, as is abundantly evinced by the regular series of monstrosity exhibited both in animals and vegetables. [my emphasis] … That local resemblances, such as those of external parts, the hands, the feet, the nose, the ears, and the eye-brows, are hereditary, is well known; and it is almost equally evident, that some parts of the internal structure are in like manner transmitted by propagation: we frequently see a family form of the legs and joints, which gives a peculiar gait, and a family character of the shoulders, both of which are derived from an hereditary similarity in the skeletons. Family voices are also very common and are ascribable to a similar cause. i

Instances of supernatural formation were traced by Carlisle through four successive generations from Zerah Colburn to his great grandmother. This woman had five fingers and a thumb on each hand, and six toes on each foot. She had eleven children, ten of whom are said to have had the same peculiarity complete; but one daughter, the grandmother of the Zerah, had one of her hands naturally formed. Of the next generation there were four persons. Abiah, the boy's father, and two others, had the peculiarity complete; but one of his uncles was like the grandmother, with one hand natural. The generation under study were eight in number, of whom four were naturally formed as their mother; the rest, including Zerah the calculator, had the peculiarity complete, with the exception of his eldest brother, who had one of his feet naturally formed. Carlisle had observed they were peculiar structures of hereditary decent and was acknowledging it was a natural event, whereas many at that time were taught by the Church it was punishment by a Divine Being for human actions. Carlisle surgically removed the extra fingers from Zerah in 1815ii and Carlisle, Basil Montagu, and Humphry Davy helped Zerah write an autobiography.iii
i Carlisle, Anthony, Philosophical Transactions for 1814, London, 1814, p 94-101
ii Colburn, Zerah, A Memoir of Zerah Colburn, Springfield, Merriam, 1833, p 72
iii The Scots Magazine, Edinburgh, 1813, p 886
 
In his 1813 paper, Carlisle anticipated genetic analysis and genetic variation, when he stated;
In particular breeds of animals the characteristic signs are generally continued, whether they belong to the horns of kine, the fleeces of sheep, the proportions of horses, the extensive varieties of dogs, or the ears of swine. In China the varieties of gold or silver fishes are carefully propagated, and with us what are vulgarly called 'fancy pigeons' are bred into most whimsical deviations from their parent stock. As wild animals and plants are not liable to the same variations, and as all the variations seem to increase with the degree of artificial restraint imposed, and as certain animals become adapted by extraordinary changes to extraordinary conditions, it may still be expected that some leading fact will eventually furnish a clue by which organic varieties may be better explained. [my emphasis] A few generations of wild rabbits, or of pheasants, under the influences of confinement break their natural colours, and leave the fur and feathers of their future progeny uncertainly variegated. The very remarkable changes of the colour of the fur of the hare, and of the feathers of the partridge, in high northern latitudes, during the prevalence of the snow, and the adaptation of that change of colour to their better security, are coincidences out of the course of chance [my emphasis] and not easily explained by our present state of physical knowledge.i

Carlisle elaborated on extreme variation from the feral state in fancy pigeon breeding;
A paper has been read at the meeting of the Royal Society, by Anthony Carlisle, Esq. On Monstrosity in the Human Species. The author detailed a number of examples of monstrosity , hereditary in particular families, and propagated from one generation to another. All monstrosity he conceives to take place only in cases where artificial civilization of man has interfered. Thus varieties of dogs, pigeons, &c. are easily propagated.ii
Carlisle discounted the importance of artificial breeding fancy pigeon varieties as an explanation for the natural variations in species. However, when Charles Darwin (1809-1882) published “On the Origin of Species” in 1858, the first chapter he discusses the breeding of pigeon varieties by breeders as a foundation of his theory. In doing so, Darwin rejected Carlisle's view of the importance of differentiating between natural and artificial breeding. On 20 November 1815, Carlisle delivered his second RA lecture demonstrating common links between man and animals, and indicating the breadth of his study, later a building block for Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) and Darwin. The lecture being given eight years before Wallace was born, and when Darwin was only six years old.
Mr Carlisle here continued his miscellaneous observations on the utility of anatomy, particularly that branch called comparative, to students in art, and illustrated the system of the bones and skeleton, comparing the human frame with those of animals, birds, and fishes. This collection, he observed was a very small one, part of a larger that was open to the students every Monday, but was sufficient for his purpose. The analogy between the race of men and of apes was very striking, [my emphasis] and in all the others very apparent; particularly the joints of the neck, which in all quadrupeds amount, to seven. The cameleopard [giraffe], whose gigantic frame support a neck ten feet in length, has but seven vertebrae in the neck; and the mole, whose neck is scarcely a quarter of an inch in length, has also seven. He continued his comparisons much farther, and we regret that our limits will admit of no more than a few examples. Man and the other climbing animals have the clavicle, or collar bone; and prone, or creeping quadrupeds, are destitute of it. Many animals which appear destitute of certain limbs or organs have them imperfectly developed; as the lump-like tail of the seal, a skeleton of which he exhibited, contain the elements of legs and a tail, but hidden by a fat webby membrane; the fin-like feet of the turtle contain the bones of the carpus and metacarpus, mid the bones of the fingers or toes; and the wings of most birds the bones of the upper arm and the two bones of the forearm and the five bones of the fingers that spread the wings and give them a motion similar to the pronation and supernation of the human arm.iii

Hence unlike Darwin, Carlisle was unafraid to describe man as just one of the natural species. The next year, 1816, Carlisle inferred again that man was just one among numberless species;
We shall do more justice to it by presenting, as nearly as possible in the Professor's own words, the following remarks on the classification of natural objects, with which he premised an account of the natural history of man. “The animal creation presents an immense series of beings, linked together by various points of family resemblance, and again subdivided into different species, by distinguishing marks. [my emphasis] From the earliest periods of civilization, men have attempted to class and name the several creatures which surround them. Increasing leisure has brought the most minute and apparently the most insignificant cant animals under rational consideration; and a relation and harmonious dependence has been discovered among the whole, contrary to that seeming confusion which ignorance attributes to misrule or to chance. The beautiful order of nature has tempted the vanity of man into a belief that he might catalogue all the objects of creation, and unite his arts to the laws of unvarying power. These are the dreams of philosophy. Experience informs us, that the numberless species of natural objects are assimilated to each other by shades of connection, which the gross organs and the limited intellect of man are unable to discriminate. It is impossible to distinguish and name the several specimens of creation, as if they had been formed into distinct sets, and were well marked different links of a definite chain; instead of being as they are a continuous series. The infinite approaches of similitude in natural things, and the endless deviations which are discovered by every attempt to class them together, only adds another convincing proof of the immeasurable qualities of infinite power. Nor has the idle epithet of imperfect creatures, as applied to simple animals, any better foundation than the vulgar nickname of monster, as applied to every strange and unfamiliar living thing. In the great work of infinite wisdom, there is no imperfection: each object is exactly fitted to its destiny; and the immense order of successive generation moves on with unerring, irresistible, unchanging precision”.iv
Although Carlisle refers to 'unchanging precision', it is clear from his other comments he recognised that variations to this 'unchanging precision' could, and did, arise within the embryo. At this time, even Sir Joseph Banks accepted the wording of the Bible. Reading between the lines of a letter of January 1816 written by Banks it appears Carlisle submitted a paper to the Royal Society which addressed evolution, but it was rejected by the Society, thereby causing a rift;
Thus, the noble creature man, is the destined prey of the head louse, the body louse & the crab louse, neither of which can exist in any other situation than on the human body. Of course, as man was the last work of Creation, he must have maintained all these animals until he had a wife who might release him from supporting one or two of them; but till Abel, the younger brother of Cain, was born, there were not more men than lice destined to feed upon them. But enough of this nonsense. Until an actual experiment has taught us that an animal can proceed from another without having been created or begotten, what inducement can we have for believing that possible from abstract reasoning which appears impossible from actual experiment? Carlisle has not entered my house since the Committee of Papers of the RS refused to print a paper of his, [my emphasis] &, I am told, has declared that he never will. I hear that he is employed in hatching a publication in which countenance will be given to those equivocal doctrines, but I do not hear of one experiment he has to produce in favour of his doctrine.v
i Carlisle, Anthony, Philosophical Transactions for 1814, London, 1814, p 498
ii The Universal Magazine, London, Sherwood, 1814, p 320
iii New Monthly Magazine, London, Henry Colburn, 1815, p 439-440
iv Elmes, James, Annals of the Fine Arts for MDCCCXVI, London, 1817, p 365
v Banks, Joseph, The Letters of Sir Joseph Banks, London, Imperial, 2000, p 320-321

 
At age 70, in 1838, only two years before his death, he presented a paper worthy of careful study, although a difficulty is that Carlisle was so much at the forefront of research, he needed to coin words and phrases to fit his concepts. For example he refers to “embrystic evolution” [evolution of the embryo] showing his belief the divergence of species was initiated by changes at an embryonic level. His term “embrystic evolution” is startlingly similar to modern definitions of the evolutionary process, such as; biological evolution, genetic evolution, or organic evolution. His view 'they always originate under physical direction', foreshadows modern genetic science, as we are now taught new species occur from random, natural, mutations in reproduction of the DNA genetic strand.
For the advancement of natural knowledge, and for the improvement of organic physiology, it may be useful to collect and to collate various evidences, in order to establish the laws which direct the formation of similar figures in different bodies. … For the better understanding of physiological, and consequently of pathological phenomena, it is very important to distinguish between physical causes of general influence, and the especial or peculiar causes termed vital, which belong conjointly to organized living bodies; and the facts now submitted must, I believe, lead to more exact and practical discriminations as to the causes of embrystic evolution, the growth of organized parts, the reparation of lesions, and morbid deviations from natural structure. If it be granted that arborescing vessels are only gross accommodations or appliances of convenience in animal function, and that they always originate under physical direction, [my emphasis] and not from a vital or mysterious necessity, we may assume to have made one step further in natural knowledge.i
Given Carlisle's keen study of inherited mutations and his interest in arborescing vessels, it seems clear he saw a connection between them. That is, he was thinking about inherited traits, and how they sometimes reappear in following generations, and sometimes disappear, leading to permanent physiological changes, or even to extinction, implicitly in both human and animal lines of descent.

i Barker, Edmund Henry, Literary Anecdotes, London, Smith, 1852, p 254

Unknown - portrait of Rev Mr Roush

Although this miniature has the sitter's name on the reverse, it has proved difficult to find out anything about him. At top left it is inscribed either "Rev Mr Roush" or "Rev Wm Roush", or less likely "Routh".

Without being exceptional, the miniature is well painted and the pointed shape of the nose is reminiscent of the work of James Peale (1749-1831) of Philadelphia. For example, a portrait said to be of James Ladson painted by him in 1799. Peale did his best work between 1786 and 1805, and in his work after 1805 he is said to have been assisted by his daughter Anna Claypoole Peale (1791-1878).

The pose of this miniature is similar to that of miniatures by both Peale and his daughter, and if a joint work would be less likely to be signed. From the discussion about casework as below, it is believed the miniature probably dates to 1810-1815 and was probably painted in Philadelphia.The name Roush, changed from Rausch, did occur in the Philadelphia area. He is likely therefore to be related to John Roush or Jacob Roush, both of Philadelphia, who were born in the mid 18C and died after 1815.

One way to date the miniature is by studying the casework which helps to confirm it as an American portrait. I have discussed elsewhere the effect of the 1808 Embargo Act on American miniature portraits. As a consequence of the trade war, it was not possible to import cases and glasses from Britain. Hence for a period of several years from 1808-1815 miniature painters had to make cases out of whatever they could find. In this instance there is, unusually, an inner and outer glass, both with metal bezels as shown in the photographs here. It appears the miniature was made to fit the inner bezel, itself made to fit an available glass. There being no indication of any hanger.  As the miniature was then too small for a standard case, the inner half-case and miniature were then placed inside a rectangular ebonised case, which appears to be more likely of French origin, trade with France being easier than with Britain. The miniature is therefore very collectible as being a good example of an Embargo Act "make-do" case. 1485

Tuesday

Unknown - portrait of Martha Washington


This miniature portrait, only 40mm x 32mm in size, was offered on eBay as a miniature portrait of an unknown lady, being advertised as;
 "Antique Early 1800's Bonnet Lady Portrait Miniature on Enamel 14K Gold Case. Shabby Chic Condition Glass Back Case 15.27 grams".

As such there was limited price competition, even though there were a total of 21 bids, and it was fortunately purchased for this collection for less than the value of the gold content, $160. Thus bargains can occasionally be found even on eBay, that is, provided one is careful and does one's research beforehand as far as practical.

As can be seen by comparison with the photograph below, it is now revealed as a portrait of Martha Washington. As such it is a copy on enamel of the miniature portrait on ivory by James Peale (1749-1831), painted in 1796 and now residing at Mount Vernon.

American miniatures on enamel are very uncommon, with one of the very few artists to use the technique being William Russell Birch (1755-1834). Whilst it would be nice to believe it was a contemporary copy by Birch in a later frame, that seems unlikely. Thus it more likely dates from around the time of the Centennial celebrations of 1875-1876. It is unknown whether other examples on enamel were painted at the same time, although no other examples have yet been noticed. Nevertheless it is very well painted, as enamel miniatures require a great deal of skill. That is because the glass pigments used melt at different temperatures, so the adding of different colours takes several firings, as the pigments also change colour during the intense heat of the firing process. Due to that intense method of manufacture, unlike miniatures on ivory, the enamel colours will never fade. The greatest risk thereafter being of scratches to the enamel, or cracking, which is almost impossible to remedy. In addition, the gold-work is exquisite. 1473