A Character Study

Abraham Daniel


Modest of dress, mature in years, and wise of countenance, this portrait could be of the housekeeper or the cook. The good quality gold bracelet frame may though suggest otherwise so perhaps she is a genteel widow or a wealthy gentleman’s mother-in-law who’s been persuaded to sit for her portrait whilst taking the waters during a stay in Bath where the artist Abraham Daniel also came for the season to capitalise on the steady influx of well-heeled visitors.

Of the three sons born to Nochaniah Daniel of Bridgwater, one became a watch-maker and two, Abraham and Joseph, became portrait miniaturists. Newspaper adverts placed between 1785 and 1787 refer only to a ‘Mr Daniel’ working from No. 3 Abbey Green, an elegant townhouse situated just steps from Bath Abbey. Abraham died unmarried in 1806; he bequeathed £50 to Elizabeth Godboy with whom he lived with further legacies to his two natural sons. The rest of his estate went to his two married sisters.

Painted with Daniel’s distinctive softness and well drafted features, the portrait resides in the original gold bracelet frame, the reverse with a small aperture containing woven hair. The portrait is in fine condition with just a little dust to the underside of the glass.

Ivory Registration: P2AZYXWN

Item Ref. 7153

Size: framed, 50 x 40mm