A Pair of American Profiles

Signed and dated 1798


This pair of small late eighteenth century American profiles come from my own collection having been purchased more than a decade ago. They depict a grey-haired gentleman with a characterful face named Mr Harrison and his wife. Mr Harrison is wearing a brown frock-coat with large lapels and buttons over a greenish-grey waistcoat and white stock. His wife is wearing a blue dress with a plain white handkerchief covering her décolletage, her dark hair just visible under her mob-cap that is edged with a double frill and trimmed with ribbon. Both profiles are set against a greenish-brown stippled background.

Watercolour on paper. The gentleman is inscribed on the reverse − ‘Mr Wm Harrison / Live?sdown / 1798’ and is signed with the initials AMT. So far neither the place-name nor the artist have been identified. The portraits are housed in giltwood frames with giltwood mounts and old glass. They are in very good condition with just a small surface scratch to the background on the gentleman and minor hairline cracking to the giltwood mount on the lady.

Item Ref. 2380

Size: oval, 105 x 82mm (4⅛ x 3¼") ; framed, 157 x 133mm (6⅛ x 5⅛")

Provenance: Ex. Jean Curtin collection