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Summer Fine Art and Antique Auction - Day 1

Sat, Jul 9, 2022 09:00AM EDT
Lot 231

2 TN Portrait Miniatures: Mary Dudley & James Hill

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,400

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
Pair of miniature watercolor portraits, oval, depicting subjects identified en verso as Mary Matilda Dudley Hill Boling or Bolling (b. 1806-d. ? ), wearing an off-the-shoulder black dress and no jewelry, but with her hair in fashionable buns; and her first husband, James C. Hill (1794-1832), wearing a high-collared shirt with suit coat and cravat. The portraits were likely painted around the time of their marriage in Franklin, Tennessee, in 1830. Both with inscriptions identifying subjects, en verso, and housed under glass in oval gilt metal frames fitted into larger rectangular wooden frames. Sights (oval): 4" H x 3 3/8" W. Framed: 7" H x 6 1/4" H. Note: Mary Dudley was the daughter of Guilford Dudley and Anna Bland Eaton Dudley, and the granddaughter of Gen. Thomas Eaton of North Carolina. She was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina but moved to Tennessee with her parents as a child. James Hill was born in Halifax, N.C. to Sarah Branch Hill and William Clanton or Clayton Hill. The couple's marriage was short lived, as James Hill died within two years of the wedding, leaving Mary a widow at the age of 26.

Property of the Lincoln County Museum, Fayetteville, TN; Bequest of Mary Bright Wilson (1909-2004), formerly of Fayetteville, and descended in her family.


Both portraits exhibit slight warping to ground and scattered cracks at outer edges. James Hill portrait has 1/8" scratch to forehead and a couple of tiny pieces of trapped dust/fuzz to lower quarter of painting on and near coat. Mary Dudley portrait exhibits losses to outer edges near crack lines on right side and bottom edge; some dark spots, possibly flyspecks, and some hairline scratches or possible fine cracking upper left quadrant, in background. The oval gilt rims do not fit tightly into the wood frames; handle with caution.