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2024 Summer Fine Art & Antiques (Day 1)

Sat, Jul 6, 2024 09:00AM EDT
Lot 408

John Beaufain Irving, Charleston SC Oil Portrait

Estimate: $700 - $900

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John Beaufain Irving (South Carolina, 1825-1877) oval oil on canvas painting of a young woman. According to oral history, the subject is believed to be his wife, Mary Middleton Hamilton (1837-1881). The dark haired, blue eyed subject wears a white dress and white headscarf and is depicted at about age 25 or 30, set against a cloudy sky background. Unsigned. Stamp en verso of canvas for Jos. W. Elarrisson's Artists Furnishings, No 72 Meeting Street, Charleston. Giltwood oval frame. Sight - 23 1/2"H x 19"W. Frame - 29 1/2"H x 24 1/2"W. 

Biography: John Beaufain Irving was a Charleston, SC native and son of a prominent doctor. He studied in New York and in Dusseldorf, Germany, under Emanuel Leipsic. He returned to the South just before the Civil War broke out, and enlisted in the Confederate Army. After the war, Irving found his home ruined and all his property lost. He moved North and established himself in New York as a portrait painter, where he died in 1877 at the age of 51. This portrait was likely painted just before the Civil War disrupted his life and career. 

PROVENANCE: By descent in the historic Pinckney family of Runnymede Plantation, South Carolina. 


Original canvas in need of restretching. Craquelure throughout; scattered light grime and inclusions. Frame has several cracks and abrasions and has been repainted. A 1991 conservator's examination report with treatment proposal is available on request.

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By descent in the historic Pinckney family of Runnymede Plantation, South Carolina.