William Russell Birch (Anglo/American, 1755-1834) Miniature Portrait of Stephen Decatur Jr. (1779-1820).
- Sold for:
- American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 2255
- Date / Time :
- November 07, 2004 11:00AM
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.