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Possibly to I. (or J.) H. Keely (American, 1817-1891) Pair of Husband and Wife Portraits of Peter and Mary Coolidge, of Framingham, Mas

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Discovery - 2686M
Date / Time :
November 14, 2013 10:00AM


Possibly to I. (or J.) H. Keely (American, 1817-1891)

Pair of Husband and Wife Portraits of Peter and Mary Coolidge, of Framingham, Massachusetts . Unsigned, Mary's portrait with a Boston framer's label affixed to the stretcher which is inscribed "I.H. Keely Framingham Mass.," and is inscribed "Mary P. (Fisk) Coolidge Painted 1848" in pencil on verso, Peter's portrait is inscribed "Painted October 1846" in paint on verso. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 29 in., with a Boston firm stenciled on the back of the canvas, in later matching molded giltwood frames. Condition: Canvases cleaned, stable craquelure, Peter's portrait has some retouch to his hair, upper eyelids, right shoulder, and minor spots to background; Mary's portrait has retouch to hair, eyes, cheeks, and minor spots to clothing and background.

Note: According to a copy of a Coolidge family genealogy and an 1850 Framingham, Massachusetts, census accompanying the portraits, Peter Coolidge came from a family who first settled in Watertown, Massachusetts, in the mid-1600s. He was born July 2, 1787, married Mary Parkhurst Fiske (b. 1798) on July 1, 1824, and together they had three children. Peter was employed as a farmer, aged 63, in the 1850 census listing.

The possible attribution for I. (or J.) H. Keely is based on a work signed by the artist in an advertisement in the magazine Antiques, November, 1983, p. 87. The New York Historical Society's Directory of Artists in America, 1564-1860 states that Keely was probably a native of Haverhill, Massachusetts, and that he was working in Bradford, Massachusetts, in the 1850s. A photocopy of several Keeley portraits and information compiled by a Williamstown, Massachusetts, painting conservator is included with the portraits.
Estimate $1,000-1,500

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Peter Coolidge, Massachusetts, Mary Parkhurst Fiske, Framingham, Mary Coolidge, Mary P. (Fisk) Coolidge Painted, Watertown, New York Historical Society, Bradford, Haverhill, Williamstown