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    SAMUEL FINLEY BREESE MORSE (American, 1791-1872)
    Portrait of a Man in a Top Hat, 1840
    Oil on panel
    5 x 4-3/8 inches (12.7 x 11.1 cm)
    Signed and dated verso: S.F.B. MORSE Pinxit / Painted Oct. 24, 1840


    R.H. Boyers (?), 1955 (per handwritten note verso);
    Sotheby's Arcade, New York, September 25,1992, lot 92.

    Samuel Finley Breese Morse, inventor of the telegraph, was also painter. Following his graduation from Yale, he supported himself by painting portrait miniatures. This was the first inkling of his artistic bent. Following training with Washington Allston in London in 1811, Morse settled in New York where he founded the National Academy of Design in New York City in 1826 to promote the training and exhibiting of American artists and was its president and guiding spirit until 1842.

    Condition Report*: Panel has a repaired horizontal crack through its midsection. Old small chips and dings in the panel around its perimeter. There is an old window mark, probably from a former frame, around the perimeter of the painting. Two lumps to right of the figure appear to be hardened paint or possibly gesso. Under UV examination there is strenthening in the background behind the figure, at the corners, in the shadow under the man's hat, along his nose and scattered on his illuminated cheek.
    *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. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2014
    10th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,242

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