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    CHARLES LORING ELLIOTT (American, 1812-1868)
    Portrait of Dr. James R. Chilton, circa 1850
    oil on canvas
    36 x 29 inches (91.4 x 73.7 cm)

    This lot is accompanied by a typewritten letter written about the portrait by the son of the sitter, together with a handwritten envelope.

    The letter reads, in part: "His [Elliott's] portrait of my father Dr. James R. Chilton, was painted about 1850 and is considered to be both an excellent likeness and a thoroughly characteristic example of Elliott's work.

    "Besides his scholastic education in medicine and chemistry, my father had the exceptional advantage of personal instruction from his own father, George Chilton, one of our Scientific pioneers, who came to New York City in 18701 from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where he was born in 1768. George was on very friendly terms with Professor Benjamin Silliman in Yale College and founder of the American Journal of Sciences, and when the latter made a trip to Europe about 1825 George Chilton took charge of his chemical lectures.

    "My father, born in New York City, November 9, 1808, graduated from the medical college early in the thirties and practiced medicine in New York for several years, notably during the first cholera epidemic of 1833, but he soon abandoned the profession of physician, devoting himself exclusively to industrial chemistry and toxicological tests in poisoning cases.

    "In the summer of 1859, when a peculiar vegetable growth in the Eastern water, imparting an unpleasant taste to the water aroused much alarm in the city and led to an appointment of a commission charged with the expert examination of the water, Dr. Chilton was chosen one of the commissioners. The verdict was that this growth, while causing an unpleasant flavor was not in any degree harmful to the public health. Not long since there was a recurrence of the phenomena.

    "Dr. Chilton died at Yonkers, July 25, 1863, and in the period before the Civil War he was one of the best known and important citizens of New York City. His remains repose in Greenwood Cemetery beneath a granite shaft in which is inserted a marble medallion relief by the sculptor Ellis, who executed the monument to Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine.

    "During the War of 1812, George Chilton was intrusted [sic] with the management of a powder-mill at Westfield, N. J., where he was able to make his knowledge of chemistry a helpful feature in the cause of the United States. He was also an innovator in the education of women, having delivered courses of chemical lectures especially for women about 1820."

    Condition Report*:  
    *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
    May, 2011
    17th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,281

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

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