View full screen - View 1 of Lot 1529. Portrait of Andrew or William Ramsay.
1529

Archibald Robertson

Portrait of Andrew or William Ramsay

Restricted Species

Estimate:

6,000 - 8,000 USD

Property from a Maryland Collection

Archibald Robertson

Archibald Robertson

Portrait of Andrew or William Ramsay

Portrait of Andrew or William Ramsay

Estimate:

6,000 - 8,000 USD

Lot sold:

3,780

USD

Authenticity guarantee

What is guaranteed?

Archibald Robertson

1765 - 1835

Portrait of Andrew or William Ramsay


together with watercolor on glass copies of a pair of portraits of twins Andrew and William Ramsay as young boys

watercolor on ivory

dated 1792

3 1/4 in. by 2 3/8 in.

In overall very fine condition. Examined under UV light, no inpainting detected. Negligible warp to the ivory along the sides.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Believed to have descended in the familial line of William Ramsay;
Jane Ramsay m. William Turnbull;
to Katherine Graham Turnbull m. George Peter Frick;
to Charles Frick;
to Dorothyy Frick m T. Courtney Jenkins;
to Dorothy Carroll Jenkins m. Aubrey Pearre (present owner)

The copies of the Ramsay twins appear to be from the distribution of the estate of Susan Carroll Poultney Frick.

Archibald Robertson was the top miniaturist in Scotland before moving to New York in 1791. The year after Robertson arrived in America, and the probable date of this miniature, Robertson received the plum commission of the President of the United States. The miniature is housed in the original gold case, made by silversmith Adam Lynn. The case is scratched signed and dated November 8, 1792. Additionally, the case retains Lynn’s trade card. “Virginia Silversmiths, Jewelers, Clock and Watchmakers, 1607-1860" by Catherine B. Hollan, 2010, lists 6 other cases signed by Lynn.1

Archibald Robertson (1765-1835), a native of Aberdeen, made a visit to New York City in 1791 and liked it so much that he stayed for the rest of his life. Robertson had studied with Charles Sherriff, Joshua Reynolds and Benjamin West in London before returning to Scotland to become wildly successful. After moving to America with his brother Alexander, they opened the Columbian Academy of Painting while advertising as portrait and miniature painters. The author of the first comprehensive manual of drawing written in America, Robertson also wrote “A Treatise on Miniature Painting” for his younger brother Andrew, who had remained in Scotland. Andrew eventually became one of the most significant miniaturists of 19th century Britain. Perhaps Robertson’s greatest accomplishment was his 1792 cabinet portrait on marble of President Washington (New York Historical Society). Robertson’s worktable and sketch books are in the collection of the Rosenbach Museum, Philadelphia.2

William Ramsay was a twin to Andrew Ramsay II, who may actually be the sitter in this portrait. He along with his brother were the twin sons of Patrick Ramsay, Lord Provost of Glasgow, Scotland. His listing and family tree on Ancestry (attached) lists Andrew as Catherine Graham’s husband. Additionally, there is an image of this miniature.

1 Catherine B. Hollan, “Virginia Silversmiths, Jewelers, Clock and Watchmakers, 1607-1860,” Hollan Press, Mclean, Virginia, January 2010, p. 1-5.

2 Dale T. Johnson, American Portrait Miniatures in the Manney Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, c. 1990, p. 184-186.