1813 Zedekiah Belknap Portraits
This is my great-great-great- grandmother and grandfather, and these were their wedding portraits, and they were done in 1813. They took the boards right off the barn and painted them right there for them.
Well, I think the greatest part of coming here to Texas, for me at least, was to see these portraits, which were painted in New Hampshire, which is my home state. And these portraits, the minute they came in I identified them as being by Zedekiah Belknap, who was a New Hampshire painter. There are several signs that definitely tell that they're Belknap portraits. One of them is that they're on poplar panels, which was a very easy wood to paint on-- he always painted the backs with gray paint to keep them from warping a great deal. There are several nice features about these making them a lot better than most Belknaps. One of them is they were done on their wedding day, which makes them very young and very cheerful. So many portraits were done when people became wealthy and successful and they had lost their teeth and they sort of were getting lines of age, but that's not the case with these. The husband is in his wedding outfit because he has the blue jacket with that dash of red going around it with the wonderful bow on his shirt. She's in a low-cut empire dress, which was of the period-- it was the classical period--in New England. They probably lived somewhere in the middle of the state, probably very wealthy farmers. Do you have any idea as to what they're worth?
Like I said, we just kind of left them in a bedroom hanging up on the wall with one nail, so...
I would say that they have a value of between $8,000 and $12,000 for the pair.
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