Skinner Auctions
Skinner AuctionsBoston MA
March 2, 2019 10:00 AMCalender

Sheldon Peck (Illinois/Vermont, 1797-1868) Portrait of John Newcomb Knapp (1826-1893) of Victory, New York

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Auction: American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 3222BLocation: BostonDate / Time: March 02, 2019 10:00AM


Sheldon Peck (Illinois/Vermont, 1797-1868)

Portrait of John Newcomb Knapp (1826-1893) of Victory, New York
Unsigned, the subject identified in typed notes on the reverse.
Oil on canvas laid down on panel, 23 1/2 x 19 1/2 in., in a black-painted frame with gilt liner.
Condition: Minor damage and spots of retouch.

Provenance: John Newcomb Knapp to Jessie Knapp Gates (b. 1857),to Theoda Elizabeth Gates Hubbard (b. 1886),to John Merrill Hubbard (b. 1921),and by descent in the family to the current owner.

Note: The sitter, John Newcomb Knapp, was born in Victory, New York, to John Turner Knapp (b. 1802),son of Captain John Newcomb (b. 1760) of New Lebanon, Connecticut. John Newcomb Knapp was an accomplished student from an early age, and during his attendance at Albany Law School, he gained an appointment as special agent in the U.S. Department of the Treasury in the Pierce administration, serving into the early part of Buchanan's term. After graduating from law school he entered the banking industry and moved to Wisconsin. In 1860 he moved back to Victory, New York, where he turned to politics, and was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to the post of Provost-Marshal of the 24th Congressional District in New York. He was also successful as the Adjutant General of New York, recruiting 4 regiments from upstate New York into the Civil War. After the war he moved back into private enterprise and became a director and secretary at the Merchant's Union Express Company (later American Express). In 1871 he was appointed Quartermaster General by Governor Dix of New York, and served in that post until 1873. Sometime afterwards he moved to Auburn, New York, where he served as Postmaster, appointed by President Harrrison, and Chairman of the Republican State Committee. He died in Auburn in 1893. Included in the lot are some family documents, as well as a copy of the 1874 Genealogical Memoir of the Newcomb Family, published by Knight & Leonard, Chicago, given to Grayson Guthrie Knapp by John Newcomb Knapp.
Estimate $10,000-15,000

Thin lines and spots and very small areas of retouch to collar and sleeve, minor retouch in spots to face. Losses including to a small horizontal area below lower lip. Old repairs to two punctures or small tears in lower right quadrant with associated retouch - one in background, one near left sleeve. Laid down onto a composite board of some kind a long time ago, probably when punctures were repaired.

Items may have wear and tear, imperfections, or the effects of aging. 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 shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Abraham Lincoln, John Newcomb, John Newcomb Knapp, John Turner Knapp, Elizabeth Gates Hubbard, John Merrill Hubbard, Dix, Sheldon Peck, Harrrison, Auburn, Chicago