June - Addtions to the Collection

New additions include four miniatures classified as American. The first of these is a miniature of Mrs John Sanders van Rensselaer, formerly Ann Dunkin, which has been attributed to John Vanderlyn and was painted in New York in 1815 or 1816, soon after his return from studying in France, which explains the French looking appearance of this portrait.

Opinions vary as to whether Vanderlyn painted miniature portraits, but at the current time there does not appear to be a better candidate for this miniature.

Research into the portrait has revealed some interesting aspects of American history, of a family with members on both sides of the War of Independence, for more details, see View

A nice pair of signed British miniature portraits of a minister and his wife, by a little known British artist, A Scot, who was active around 1810, see View   Also, an unusual enamel miniature of William Pitt the Elder, who was Lord Chatham and father of William Pitt, the Younger, now with a foliate and ebonised frame, but which may have originally been the cover on a Bilston enamel box of c1760. For more, see View  

After the French Revolution a number of French miniature painters fled to America. The names of some of them are known, but not all. Thus, an American miniature of c1807 by a French artist can be seen at View  The post includes some more discussion of early case making in America. Finally, there is a rare pair of signed and dated miniatures of 1830 by the American artist Charlotte Deming, see View  They are probably marriage portraits and while their condition is not perfect, their rarity makes them an interesting addition.

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