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Summer Fine Art and Antique Auction - Day 1

Sat, Jul 9, 2022 09:00AM EDT
Lot 482

Elizabeth Rebecca Coffin (New York/Massachusetts 1850-1930) Pastel Portrait of a Woman

Estimate: $800 - $900

Bid Increments

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Elizabeth Rebecca Coffin (New York/Massachusetts 1850-1930) pastel on paper profile portrait, possibly a self-portrait, depicting a light-eyed young woman with her brunette hair in a ribbon-tied bun, dressed in a gray-pink dress with large sleeves and a high neck. Plain cream-colored background. Signed and dated "Elizabeth R. Coffin 1895(?)" lower right. Housed and matted under glass in a molded giltwood frame with foliate sight edge and giltwood mattes. Sight: 12 1/4" H x 10" W. Framed: 25 1/4" H x 22 7/8" W. Biography: Elizabeth Rebecca Coffin was born in Brooklyn and raised and educated in the Quaker tradition. She attended Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York before traveling to Europe for further training. While enrolled as the first American woman at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten (Academy of Fine Arts) in The Hague, Coffin boldly attended classes traditionally reserved for men such as anatomy and the history of architecture. She then returned to Vassar college to become the first person in the United States to be awarded a master of arts degree in fine arts. Coffin was a founding member of the Brooklyn Art Guild as well as a member of the Art Students League of New York. Later an apprentice to and great friend of Thomas Eakins, she continued to practice in the American Realist tradition throughout her career creating a prolific oeuvre of portraits and scenes of New Englanders and their lives. (Adapted from "Elizabeth Rebecca Coffin, Nantucket Artist" by Margaret Moore Booker, Antiques: American Art, Nov. 2001, p. 700-709.)

Private Cincinnati, Ohio estate.


Overall good condition with scattered abrasions to pigment primarily at edges of painting, largest area measuring 1/4" x 2 1/8", and scattered minor areas of foxing to paper. Not examined outside of frame. Frame with scattered losses to carving and gilt.