American Miniature Portraits, ca. 1810
They came down through my husband's family. My husband's grandmother was a wealthy woman in Wilmington, Delaware, who was known to collect early American items.
The first one here is signed by the artist.
But we don't know who the sitter is. It's very, very tiny signature, and it's Thomas Hanford Wentworth, who was an itinerant painter in the 18th century and, and into the early 19th century. While we don't know the sitter, it's a very fine example of his work. And on today's auction market, it would be expected to fetch between $500 and $700.
Now, the one that's much more interesting is nearest you, and in this case, we don't know the artist. It was probably an itinerant painter, but on the back of the miniature is an inscription telling us who the sitter is, and the sitter is, goes by the name of William Bayard, Jr. And he was a pretty pivotal figure during the Revolutionary War. He's best known for being a close friend of Alexander Hamilton's. And Alexander Hamilton, after his duel with Aaron Burr, died in William Bayard's house in Greenwich Village, New York, and that's where he passed away the day after. Bayard was a very prominent banker in New York City, and from that likeness and from others like it, we determine that that is probably a portrait taken much later in life. And it probably dates to about 1810.
So it's an oil miniature. There are very few images of Bayard, except for a handful of other portraits, and this does not appear like those. So it was probably taken from life. At auction, the miniature of Bayard, Jr., would be expected to bring in anywhere from $4,000 to $6,000.
Unexpected. (chuckles): Wow.
It's a fantastic thing.
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