Oh my, I love this dressed miniature of our first President! The story that came with this wonderful piece of American folk art is that it was sewn by a young girl in Mystic, Connecticut in the late 19th century. She did a smashing job, creating his tri-corner hat with bullion fringe and gold beads attached to a dark fabric. His blue and white uniform is beautifully made and embellished with epaulets made of beaded and bullion fringes. His waistcoat has tiny bead buttons and his shirt is depicted with the lace that peeks out of his waistcoat and at the cuff of his jacket sleeves. His stockings are made from a knit material that one would expect in a stocking and his shoes appear to be real leather with buckles fashioned from braided bullion cording twisted to shape the bucket with a gold bead acting as the buckle tongue. His face and hand are cut and painted card. George’s famous queue is part of the painted card but it is held tight by a brown ribbon tied close to the end of the hair. General Washington holds a letter in his card cut and painted hand.
This is just a really delightful piece of American folk art reminiscent of the dressed portrait miniatures created by Mary Way at the turn of the previous century. Considering Mystic, CT (where this dressed portrait was made) and New London, CT (where Mary Way grew up) are just 9 miles apart, one might imagine that this artist had seen and/or heard of the work of Mary Way when she It is framed in a modern black wood shallow shadowbox (say that 3 times fast) where it is mounted onto linen fabric. The frame is blacker than it looks in the photos. Framed size is 11” x 17 7/8”. Circa last quarter of the 19th century. This piece will elevate whatever collection it goes to—you know that nothing similar will likely show up in another collection!
Ex-Collection of Carolyn and Tom Porter