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Case Auctions
Live Auction

2022 Summer Fine Art & Antiques (Day 1)

Sat, Jul 9, 2022 09:00AM EDT
Lot 493

Portrait of Martha Ready Morgan of TN, wife of John Hunt Morgan, plus 2 books

Estimate: $2,400 - $2,800

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
Benjamin Franklin Reinhart (American, 1829-1885) large oil on canvas portrait of Martha "Mattie" Ready Morgan of Tennessee, wife of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan. The subject is depicted seated on a red chair with upswept dark hair and attired in a pale grey formal gown with flowers to the bodice and a matching ornate satin robe or coat behind her. She wears a glove on her right hand and holds a white lace fan with her left hand. In the background is a window with red silk drapery. Signed and dated lower right "B. F. Reinhart Pinxit 1868". Housed in a gilt carved pebbled cove style frame with applied foliate ornaments to the corners, egg and dart decoration to the outer edge and bead course decoration to the inner edge. Sight: 49 1/2" H x 39 1/4" W. Framed: 62" H x 50" W. Note: the wedding of Mattie Ready Morgan (1840-1887), daughter of Tennessee Congressman Charles Ready, to then-Captain John Hunt Morgan of Kentucky has been described as the social event of the Confederacy. It took place at her father's stately home in Murfreesboro on Dec. 14, 1862. Their marriage lasted only 630 days (ending when Morgan was captured and killed), but has been romanticized as one of the great love stories of the Civil War. American historical painter and portraitist Benjamin Reinhart spent most of the Civil War in London, but returned to Kentucky in the late 1860s, where this painting is believed to have been created. He also painted portraits of Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. P.T. Beauregard. The date on this painting is 4 years after Morgan's death and 5 years before Mattie's second marriage to Judge William Henry Williamson of Lebanon, TN; it may have been intended to depict Mattie Morgan in her wedding attire. Although John Hunt and Mattie Morgan's daughters both died young, leaving no direct descendants, the painting has descended in Mattie Morgan's family on the Bone side, along with a tea set said to have belonged to her (also being sold in this auction). This lot also includes two (2) first edition hardcover books related to Martha Ready Morgan and General John Hunt Morgan, including: Author signed, MORGAN AND HIS RAIDERS: A BIOGRAPHY OF THE CONFEDERATE GENERAL, First Edition, by Cecil Fletcher Holland, published by The Macmillian Company, New York, 1942; and THE BRIDE AND THE BANDIT: THE STORY OF MATTIE READY OF MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE, WARTIME BRIDE OF GENERAL JOHN HUNT MORGAN, First Edition, printed by Evansville Bindery for private publication, Evansville, 1998. Flyleaf to MORGAN AND HIS RAIDERS with inscription reading "For Mrs. W.P. Bone--in grateful appreciation for her gracious help in the preparation of this book. Cecil F. Holland Nov. 24, 1942" with a later inscription describing the photo of Morgan's mausoleum affixed below Holland's inscription with scotch tape, book also includes fragments of original dust jacket and a newspaper clipping about the book. Books ranging in size from 8 3/4" H x 6" W x 1 1/4" D to 1 3/4" D. Note: a porcelain tea service originally belonging to Martha Ready Morgan is being sold on the second day of this auction, lot 974.

The Estate of Mary Ann Denney, Nashville, Tennessee.


Painting: Lined; light craquelure throughout. Some areas of inpainting visible under UV light inspection including a 2" patch in drapery area, scattered spots on subject's dress, some light touchup around neck/jaw/cheek area, and a few spots on subject's right arm. Some flourescence noted to upper left and lower left edges of canvas, areas up to 5". Please refer to UV photos provided. Frame with some chipping to edges, and some small losses to carved elements. Books: MORGAN book with normal shelf wear to covers, corners bumped. Pages with toning, pencil marks. Holland's inscription in good, legible condition. BRIDE IN THE BANDIT in overall very good condition.