Today at Treasures Antiques was fun as usual. Our great customers sharing their projects with us, our dealers dropping in to bring more antique goodness. One thing that happened today, however, really stands out. This is what happened to one of our customers, Karen.
As it turns out, she and her husband, for one of their only visits to the antique mall Saturday, ran across this portrait. The woman looked familiar and it bugged her all weekend. It finally struck her that it was an ancestor, of hers. She brought in a picture of this several generations removed great grandmother, Elizabeth Partidge Tillotson Whiting, and we compared them and concluded the following.
Background: In the late 1800's cabinet cards were common. They were those photographs that came on a cardboard back board with the photographers advertising info on them. So people who wanted larger portraits to hang would take their cabinet cards to a charcoal artist who would do a rendering from the picture. It is my opinion that these are two charcoal drawings by two different charcoal artists of the same cabinet card. Notice that the dress collar, scarf inside the dress collar and the bar pin across the button placket are all the same. The artist on the left (the photo in the book that Karen owns) was clearly the better artist and included the details of her neck rather than just drawing her clothing to her chin, but I feel confident that they are from the same cabinet card. So honestly what are the chances that Karen would find an 'original' ancestral portrait at a local antique store. Pretty cool eh? Congrats Karen, come and see us again. We may not have other ancestral portraits from your family, but we do have lots and lots of vintage and antique goodies!