November - Susan Farington and Louisa Strobel

Patient looking and diligent research means that it is still possible to find occasional bargains that other collectors have missed, although it requires previous study and a big dose of luck. A retentive memory helps!

Both of these two miniature portraits were very fortunate purchases, with an average cost of under USD300 at public auction, well below their real value.

The lady is Susan Mary Farington, the wife of the prominent Royal Academy artist, Joseph Farington, author of The Farington Diary, a rich resource for art historians. In its way the Diary is as important as the more famous Samuel Pepys Diary. Susan was painted in 1792, but died in 1800, childless and leaving Joseph devastated.

The artist is currently unknown, but given the number of prominent artists known to Farington and Susan's family connections (she was related to the Walpole family), it must be by one of the better artists of the late 18C.

For more about the portrait, click on View

The man is William George Bicknell, who was painted by his sister-in-law, one of very few early American female artists, Louisa Caroline Strobel (1806-1883) who learned to paint miniatures when her father was posted to France as a Consular official.

Researching Louisa has revealed that academic sources have the wrong second name for her, most suggesting it was Louisa Catherine Strobel, but her birth and christening records on the IGI show her middle name was Caroline. Her father was one of the first American diplomats, so the family had to return from Liverpool, England, the main Trans-Atlantic port for passengers, to the United States in 1812, when the United States declared war on Great Britain.

Miniatures by Louisa very rarely appear on the market, as most were of her family members and nearly all of those are now housed in the Metropolitan Museum and in the Gibbes Museum.

For more about the miniature click on; View

For those interested in Art and Antique blogs, here are a few to look at.
http://artfixdaily.com — A good place to start for top stories spanning topics ranging from record-setting auction results, to upcoming exhibitions and reviews.
http://rarevictorian.com — A blend of informative resource for Victorian furniture, furniture makers & forums.
http://youngantiquescollectors.blogspot.com — Addressing the issues we’re all thinking about–There must be young collectors out there, whether they know it now or not.
http://www.antiquestradegazette.com — International news on auctions, the art market, and trends.

Skinner Blog

Newel's Antique Blog

Rare Victorian

Antique Show Insider

Antique Trader Blog

Antique Prints Blog

Tall Tales from the Antiques Trail

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