Mary Gibson

Seven Years Old


John Miers (1758-1821) first advertised “profile shades in miniature” in his home town of Leeds in 1781 at a cost of 2s 6d each. These were secondary to his main business which was preparing and selling paints. But such was the success of his profile painting, that four years later he auctioned off his stock of paints and utensils and became a full-time profilist travelling to major towns and cities to extend his clientele.

This profile of seven-year-old Mary Gibson pre-dates Miers’s move in 1791 south to London where he set up his studio on the Strand. Painted on plaster, the profile shows remarkable detail. Mary is shown wearing a dress with a frilled neckline and with buttons on the bodice, her hair in long curls with a fringe.

The silhouette is set in the original pressed brass frame and is backed with the artist’s trade label no. 8 used when travelling circa 1786-87. The frame has some loss on the reverse as can be seen in the image; it is nonetheless stable and hangs perfectly.

Item Ref. 6601

Size: framed, 120 x 98 (4¾ x 3⅞")

Provenance: Phillips, July 1997