Southern School, late 19th century oil on canvas bust length portraits of Col. Robert Bogardus Snowden and his wife, Anne (Annie) Overton Brinkley Snowden of Memphis, circa 1890. Both are depicted in middle age, Col. Snowden in a black evening coat with white tie, and Mrs. Snowden in burgundy velvet dress with inset white sheer bodice, white feather boa, wearing spectacles and diamond ear-bobs. Unsigned. Matching gilt oval mats with Neo-Grec style applied spandrels in floral carved giltwood frames with beaded inner rims. Both: Sight 26" H x 21 1/4" W. Frame 35 1/2" H x 30" W. Col. Robert Bogardus Snowden (1836-1909) was born on Broadway in New York City at the St. Nicholas Hotel, where his grandparents, General and Mrs. Robert Bogardus lived, but he grew up in Nashville, where his father John Bayard Snowden had a successful dry goods business. Like his grandfather, Robert Bogardus Snowden had a strong interest in the military. He was a charter member of the Rock City Guards and at age 25 when the Civil War broke out, he was an adjutant of the First Tennessee Regiment. In 1863 he became Lt. Col. in the 25th Tennessee Regiment and distinguished himself at Chickmauga. Snowden fought until the war ended, then went onto become a successful businessman. In 1868 he married Annie Overton Brinkley. Annie Overton Brinkley Snowden (1845-1923) was the granddaughter of Judge John Overton of Traveller's Rest in Nashville; Overton was a lawyer to President Andrew Jackson and co-founder of Memphis. Annie's mother, Annie Coleman Overton Brinkley (1823-1845), died the year she was born, and she spent much of her childhood at Traveller's Rest. Her father, Robert Campbell Brinkley (1816-1878), was a railroad and real estate tycoon who developed the Little Rock and Memphis Railroad Company and much of downtown Memphis, including the famous Peabody Hotel. Brinkley gave the Peabody to his daughter upon her wedding to Col. Snowden, along with the Italianate villa in midtown Memphis which became known as Annesdale (Annie's Dale). The Snowdens lived elegantly and were pillars of both Nashville and Memphis Society. The Annesdale mansion remained in the family for over a century before being sold and turned into an event venue; it was sold again earlier this year into private hands. These portraits are among several objects from historic Annesdale which descended in the Snowden family and are being offered in this auction, including silver, documents and paintings.
Mr. Snowden: 1" repaired tear to background, lower right. Mrs. Snowden: 1" repaired tear center right, three areas of retouch lower left, on subject's right chest, ranging from 1" to 2 1/2". Frames appear original with later regilding and scattered losses/repairs.
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