American School, 19th Century Portraits of John Nielson and His Wife Lydia (Mendenhall).
- American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 2509
- Date / Time :
- August 15, 2010 10:00AM
American School, 19th Century
Portraits of John Nielson and His Wife Lydia (Mendenhall). Inscribed "Mrs. Valentine Hummel 1118 N. 3rd St. Harrisburg, PA/Watlee Pxt." at l.l. of the back of the canvases. Oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 23 1/4 in., in period mitered wood frames with gilt liners. Condition: Both with craquelure and scattered minute paint losses.
Provenance: Purchased in Florida by the consignor, who was told the portraits were purchased in Philadelphia. A letter accompanied the portraits. The letter, dated September 2, 1834, is written by Lydia Nielson's father, Thomas Mendenhall of Philadelphia, and addressed to John Nielson, asking his son-in-law to bring a draft he had written of a currency plan and a plan for a "real National Bank," to the attention of then Governor Wolf. He also writes sentiments to his daughter Lydia and the grandchildren.
Note: A genealogical search finds that Lydia Maria Mendenhall was born August 6, 1787, in Wilmington, Delaware, the oldest of six children born to Thomas and Mary (Zane) Mendenhall. Lydia married John Nielson July 28, 1810 at Delaware, Pennsylvania.
John- craquelure on face, background, jacket, hand, chair back with associated losses of several small specks of paint, the craquelure is lifting in the area of the back of the chair.
Lydia- craquelure, more prevalent on the top half of the painting with losses of several tiny specks.
Both have surface grime.