Sarah & Caroline Beaumont

James H. Gillespie


Sisters Sarah and Caroline (Carrie) are wearing matching delicately patterned high-waisted dresses trimmed with lace and tied at the back with a ribbon bow.

The girls were the daughters of Ingham Beaumont and his wife Frances (née Ward) of Huddersfield. Sarah was born in 1812, Caroline in 1813, their father’s occupation being recorded as ‘Manufacturer’. Sarah went on to marry Francis William Rawson, also from Huddersfield, in May 1836. Caroline married John Sale Shaw, a merchant from York in August 1840. At this point Ingham Beaumont is recorded as also being a ‘merchant’.

James H. Gillespie was a prolific Anglo-American miniaturist. Born in 1793, he began painting before 1815. By 1820 he claimed to have completed 17,000 likenesses. Gillespie toured the market towns throughout the Midlands into Northern England and the Scottish Borders. At each location he painted on average 500 profiles in a variety of styles. He was particularly busy in the fast-growing town of Preston where he painted nearly 1,100 likenesses but was less popular in Daventry where he only received 160 commissions. Around 1825 Gillespie left the British Isles for a new life in Nova Scotia from where he worked his way down the east coast of America.

Gillespie painted in a variety of styles from plain black silhouettes through monochrome profiles with detailed features to full colour profiles. His monochrome profiles set against dark backgrounds are distinctive and easily recognisable as painted by his hand. Even with this limited palette, Gillespie conveys remarkable detail on these monochrome portraits.

Painted on card and in fine condition, the portraits are housed with convex glass in traditional papier-mâché frames, one with an acorn hanger and one with an emblems (rose, thistle and shamrock) hanger.

Item Ref. 6952

Size: framed, 131 x 110mm (5⅛ x 4⅜")