Antique Freemason Framed Portrait
* Antique Item
This original portrait of a gentleman was painted on canvas in oils in the mid-1800's. Probably done in the Northeast, the artist has depicted this young man with symbols of his status and occupation. The fashionable clothing he is wearing indicates that he was a man of some affluence. His low cut vest displays his fine white dress shirt with a gold pin with the Freemason (Masonic) square and compasses symbol. The shirt has a fold down collar over a horizontally tied black cravat. His hair is cut to ear level, parted and combed to the right. Behind his left shoulder is a double handled wooden plane, indicating that his work involved wood, possibly that he was a cabinetmaker.
The canvas is in very good condition, with some fine craquelure and a few scratches in the varnish. The wide frame is pine that's veneered in nicely grained walnut. There is minor chipping along the side edges, with several larger chips along the bottom. When we bought this painting, the ancient wire on the back was broken in two; those chips possibly were caused by a prior fall. (We've replaced the wire and screw eyes so it can be hung safely.) The portrait is nailed into the frame, which appears to be original, with two black iron tacks and two modern finishing nails. The framed size is approximately 25 inches by 20 inches, with the sight size 18 inches by 20 inches and the piece weighs close to 5 pounds. It's a handsome example of American folk art.
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