Pair of Southern Portrait Miniatures
ca. 1825

Southern profile portraits of a Lady & a Gentleman
attributed to an intinerant Southern artist (name unknown)

Charcoal on paper.  5 ½ x 4 ½ inches (sight), 8 ¾ x 7 ¾ inches (frame), frames are not period, probably 1940’s.  Tags on verso of frames indicate a Richmond, Virginia framer.  The portraits are on wove paper, 6 x 5 inches.  The paper on the gentleman has a watermark:  “AMIE...PHILA.”  This was Thomas Amies who was making paper in  Philadelphia by 1805.  The papers were washed and buffered with calcium hydroxide water.  The profile of the lady has two restored corners (not affecting the image).  Since the paper on both pieces was brittle, the profiles were backed with Japanese paper using cooked wheat starch paste adhesive.

Note:  There are approximately nineteen (19) profile portraits of known sitters cataloged by the Museum of Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) attributed to the same unknown hand, many of which have the identical chair depicted.  The sitters are from Virginia and North Carolina.  Copies of the cataloged entries are available to the interested party.


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