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    Description

    JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY (American, 1738-1815)
    Portrait of Mary Clarke (Mrs. Samuel Barrett), circa 1765-1770
    Oil on copper
    5-3/4 x 4-3/4 inches (14.6 x 12.1 cm)

    PROVENANCE:
    By descent to the sitter's daughter, Mrs. Mary E. Cabot;
    Mrs. James Putnam, Boston;
    Dr. Marian C. Putnam, New Haven;
    Dr. and Mrs. Monroe A. McIver, Cooperstown, New York;
    Private collection, New York.
    Babcock Galleries, New York.

    EXHIBITED:
    Spink-Leger, London, Head and Shoulders, November 16 - December 17, 1999. no. 7.

    LITERATURE:
    A.T. Perkins, A Sketch of the Life and a List of Some of the Works of John Singleton Copley, 1873, p. 36.
    F.W. Bayley, The Life and Works of John Singleton Copley, Boston, 1915, p. 56.
    B.N. Parker and A.B. Wheeler, John Singleton Copley: American Portraits in Oil, Pastel and Miniature, with Biographical Sketches, Boston, 1938, p. 243
    J. D. Prown, John Singleton Copley: In America 1738-1774, I, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1966, p. 208, illus. 247

    The famous colonial portraitist John Singleton Copley painted many memorable likenesses of the most prominent figures of his day, including his fellow Bostonians, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams, who played crucial roles in America's fight for independence.

    The subject of this rare Copley miniature was his sister-in-law, Mary Clarke Barrett. She was the eldest child of Richard Clarke, a wealthy merchant and consignee for the East India Company, who was affiliated with the Boston Tea Party. The artist painted Mary in Boston during his engagement to her sister Susanna, before moving to England in 1774 at the urging of fellow portraitists Benjamin West and Sir Joshua Reynolds. In this intimate work, Copley demonstrates his tightly controlled brushwork and penchant for textures, making almost tactile the velvet ribbon of her hat and her pearl earring, satin gown, and feathered rose.

    A companion piece depicting Mary's husband, Samuel Barrett, is in the collection of George B. Foste, Maryland.


    Condition Report*: Under UV examination, scattered in-painting throughout sitter's face, chest, and hat, and along top and right edges of miniature and in background of upper right quadrant; otherwise good condition; not examined outside of frame.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2009
    11th-12th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,392

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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