Two Portrait Miniatures of Commodore Alexander Murray and His Son Magnus Murray, American, late 18th/early 19th century, unsigned, watercolor on ivory, 2 1/2 x 2 in., the portrait of Commodore Murray is after the original by James Peale which was painted c. 1793, and housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is shown wearing his Commodore's uniform with one star, and his medal of the Order of Cincinnatus. Each portrait is housed in an oval coin silver case engraved with their names and dates of birth and death. Condition: Both with paint smudge on lower edges, the portrait of Magnus with a small paint loss c.l.
Note: Commodore Alexander Murray was born on July 12, 1755 in Chestertown, Maryland. He married Mary Miller on June 18, 1782, and together had eleven children. He served as captain in the 1st Maryland Regiment, commanded several privateers, and was commissioned lieutenant in the Continental Navy July 20, 1781. He died on October 6, 1821 near Philadelphia, at the age of 66 and is buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.
Magnus Miller Murray was born on February 22, 1787. In 1806 he was admitted to the Philadelphia Bar. He became the Mayor of Pittsburg, and served two non-consecutive terms in office from 1828-30 ceding control of the mayor's office to Matthew B. Lowrie from 1830 to 1831 before serving again as mayor from 1831-32. On February 23, 1810 he married Mary Wilkens, and together had eight children. Magnus died in March of 1838 at the age of 51.