Italian School Portrait Miniature of George Washington
- Sold for:
- American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 2509
- Date / Time :
- August 15, 2010 10:00AM
Italian School Portrait Miniature of George Washington, after Gilbert Stuart, late 19th/early 20th century, signed "Pia Galli MIXCV" u.r., watercolor on ivory, 3 x 2 1/2 in., housed in a rectangular silver frame, the name "Pia Galli" inscribed on a paper under the frame. Condition: Very good.
Note: This portrait miniature was likely once owned by the great-great-nephew of George Washington, Mr. William Lanier Washington (1865-1933). In the first quarter of the 20th century, William offered, at three separate New York City auctions, personal relics and memorabilia of George Washington. It was thought by some people that William was a con man who purchased various early 19th century items and then fraudulently offered them at auction or sold privately, claiming they were genuine relics of President George Washington. In the last auction of these items, held at the American Art Association on February 22, 1922, three portrait miniatures on ivory of Washington by Italian artist Pia Galli, in rectangular silver frames, were offered, (lots 85-87). Lot 87 is thought to be the same one offered here, as it describes that the pose is after one of Gilbert Stuart's, and housed in a rectangular silver frame. Also accompanying the portrait are clipped segments of the title page of the catalog, and the listing of the three lots of portrait miniatures by Galli that were offered.
There is a known portriat miniature in a private collection depicting William Lanier Washington's mother Jane Bretney Lenier (1842-1901), which was done by the same artist Pia Galli.