Skinner

Auctioneers and Appraisers

William Russell Birch (Anglo/American, 1755-1834) Miniature Portrait of Stephen Decatur Jr. (1779-1820).

Auction:
2255
Lot:
112
Sold for:
$88,125$75,000

social_share

Inquire

Tabs

About

Auction:
American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 2255
Location:
Boston
Date / Time :
November 07, 2004 11:00AM

Description:

William Russell Birch (Anglo/American, 1755-1834)

Miniature Portrait of Stephen Decatur Jr. (1779-1820). The artist identified by label affixed to reverse of frame, the sitter identified by inscription painted on the reverse of the copper plate "Stephen Decatur Esq. Jun.r of U.S. 1807." Enamel on copper, depicting a bust-length portrait of Decatur wearing a blue jacket with gold trim and epaulets, 3 5/8 x 3 oval, in a composition frame with gilt brass liner. Condition: Small chip l.r.

Note: The enamel painter and engraver William Russell Birch immigrated to the United States from England in 1794, settled in Philadelphia and created a series of engraved views of the city titled The City of Philadelphia as It Appears in the Year 1800, the first series of its kind published in the United States. Stephen Decatur Jr. was born in Maryland and was raised in Philadelphia. He was an American naval officer notable for his heroism in actions at Tripoli, Libya and in the War of 1812. In the war against Tripoli, on February 16, 1804, he went into the harbor, recaptured the USS Philadelphia, and then to prevent her from being used against the U.S., he set fire and destroyed her. On October 25, 1812, while commanding the United States, he captured the HMS Macedonian. Between 1816 and 1820, Decatur was a Navy Commissioner. In 1820, he feuded with Commodore James Barron; they fought a duel that resulted in Decatur's death.
Estimate $12,000-15,000

Keywords

Stephen Decatur Jr., United States, Philadelphia, William Russell Birch, William Russell, Russell Birch, Stephen Decatur, enamel painter , United Kingdom, Tripoli, Libya, HMS, Navy Commissioner , Commodore , James Barron

Departments

Specialists