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    Rare Early Miniature Portrait on Ivory of Captain James Cook One might ask why Captain Cook (1728-1779) renowned South Seas explorer, belongs in an Americana sale. The answer is that one of his single accomplishments was the discovery of our 50th state, Hawaii! There were only a few period portraits of Cook. The most famous, by Nathaniel Dance, was widely distributed in the form of copy engravings at the time, and it is the central, portrait portion of that painting on which this unsigned miniature is closely based. Absent an artist's signature, it is impossible to date this miniature portrait precisely. Certainly such paintings were being done in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, although they reached their zenith of popularity in the early 19th century. We suspect an early date for this piece, since there would seem to be less reason to paint this image as the years after Cook's death passed. The black lacquered wood frame is almost certainly original to the piece, and still has its original brass hanging loop. Condition of the painting itself is flawless, and the frame is excellent and unmolested. Oval portrait is 2.375" x 3.125", the frame 4.75" x 5.25". A wonderful early artifact.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2005
    22nd-23rd Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 677

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