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Live Auction

2024 Summer Fine Art & Antiques (Day 1)

Sat, Jul 6, 2024 09:00AM EDT
Lot 182

Samuel Shaver, O/C Portrait of Dr. Hugh Kelso Walker, TN

Estimate: $4,400 - $4,800

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

Samuel Shaver (Tennessee, 1816-1878) oil on canvas portrait of Dr. Hugh Kelso Walker (1802-1866) of Rogersville, Tennessee. The subject is depicted sitting in an armchair and attired in a black suit before a partially open window which overlooks a mountain and river landscape, presumably Hawkins County, TN, with a desk with books and documents visible to the left. Housed in a simple wood frame. Sight: 42" H x 32 1/4" W Framed: 43 1/4" H x 33 1/4" W.

Literature: Prentiss Price, "Samuel Shaver: Portrait Painter." East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications no. 24 (1952), 105. 

Biography of the sitter: Dr. Hugh Kelso Walker was born in 1802 in Rockbridge County, Virginia, and was the son of John Walker and Margaret Kelso. In 1830, he married Frances Grantham Rogers, daughter of Joseph and Mary Amis Rogers, early residents and founders of Rogersville, TN.

Artist Biography: Portraitist Samuel M. Shaver was born in Sullivan County, the son of David Shaver and Catherine (Barringer) Shaver. He may have been influenced by William Harrison Scarborough (1812-1871), a native-born Tennessee artist, four years Shaver’s senior, who did portraits of Shaver’s relatives. Shaver’s earliest known painting dates to 1845, but he was probably painting before that time. For the next quarter-century, he was East Tennessee’s standard portraitist. In 1851 Shaver was a professor of drawing and painting at the Odd Fellows Female Institute in Rogersville. In 1852 he advertised in Greeneville and Knoxville papers; for several years thereafter his whereabouts are unknown. The death of his first wife in January 1856 recalled him to Rogersville, where he remained until the Civil War. At the outset of the war, Shaver moved to Knoxville, where he became one of the founders of the East Tennessee Art Association. From 1863 to 1868 Shaver lived and worked near Russellville. About 1868 he joined his mother-in-law and family in Jerseyville, Illinois, near St. Louis, where he continued painting. He died June 21, 1878. (Source: James C. Kelly, Virginia Historical Society).

PROVENANCE: By direct descent through the Rogers and Walker families. See other related lots from this historic family, also in this auction. 


Overall very good condition. Professionally conserved in 1980. Painting was removed from the original stretchers and relined.  A copy of the conservator's examination and recommended treatment report is available to the winning bidder. Repair with inpainting to right of sitter's right hand, 1 1/4" x 1 1/4". With minor areas of retouching, especially to upper portion of white area of exposed shirt, plus scattered, pinpoint retouches throughout. Light surface grime. 

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If paying with wire transfer, please use the following information:
Bank: Pinnacle Bank
150 Third Avenue South, Suite 900
Nashville, TN 37201
Phone # (865) 766-3000
Swift Code: PNFPUS44
Routing, Transit, ABA: 064008637
Beneficiary: Case Antiques, Inc.
4310 Papermill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37909
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By direct descent through the Rogers and Walker families. See other related lots from this historic family, also in this auction.