Antique Pair of Sibling Small Portraits on Panel
  • A great pair of oil on wood panel small portraits of brother and sister. Brother’s portrait was taken outside with fall-colored trees through which a patch of light blue sky shines through. He wears a white frilled collar above a dark blue stock that fits inside a white waistcoat. His dark blue jacket is double-breasted with brass buttons. He gazes directly at the viewer with brown or hazel eyes and ruddy cheeks and full lips. His blond hair is combed forward and he looks as if he believes himself to be very grown up. Sister had her portrait taken in the home. She, too, gazes straight at the view with big blue eyes and highly colored cheeks. Sister wears a white muslin dress with short sleeves and coral-colored ribbons and sash that match the color of her coral bead necklace. She sits in a wooden thumb-back arm chair with turned arms and front legs. In her lap is her doll who wears a long dress with a blue bodice, white skirt and red shoes. Behind Sister is a dark red half-drape. The pair of portraits are housed in what may be the original frames of molded wood. The inner cove of the frames were painted gold as if a liner. The frames have dry, grungy surfaces and the inner cove of Sister’s frame is missing a slice of wood in the upper quarter of the left inner edge. The wood panels are in very good condition (no cracks or warping). The panels were cut a bit smaller than the frame rabbets which allowed them to move around and there is some paint scuffing along those edges. I have propped the panels with cut pieces of ragboard to help them from moving around anymore. The back of Brother’s panel has the remnant of early brown paper with inscription that identified him and says he was born in April 1814. Unfortunately, the portion with his name is mostly lost and I can’t even venture a guess as to the name. Framed size 9” x 10 ½”. Looking at the clothing and the boy’s age, and considering a birthdate of 1814, I estimate these portraits were painted between 1826 and 1830.

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