Charles Balthazar Julien Fevret de Saint-Memin (New York, Philadelphia, France, 1770-1852)
Miniature Portrait of General George Washington
Signed and dated "C de Memin Ft./1798" along the left edge.
Watercolor and gouache on paper, 2 5/8 x 2 1/8 in., in a molded gilt-brass frame with textured mat and liner.
Condition: The mount with the image is separated from the frame, no obvious damage or retouch.
Provenance: The family in which the miniature descended is related to General Jacob Morgan (1742-1802). Morgan was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania. He moved to Philadelphia in the 1760s and became a successful merchant. In December 1776 he was appointed Colonel and commander of the 1st Battalion of Associators of the City of Philadelphia. He fought in the Battles of Princeton and Monmouth. After the war, he returned to private business and ran one of the country's first sugar refineries.
Note: Charles Balthazar Julien Fevret de Saint-Memin is credited with having made the last portrait of George Washington taken from life. In November 1798, Washington visited Philadelphia to take command of the army for the impending war with France. Saint-Memin was in Philadelphia at the time and made arrangements with Washington to make a portrait. The present whereabouts of that portrait is unknown.
In this portrait, Washington is depicted bust length, facing to the left and wearing a blue General's uniform with buff facings and gold epaulette. The background consists of a sky mottled in tones of blue and brown.
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.