A fine miniature portrait painting, strongly attributed to Samuel Broadbent. The sitter is reputedly Michael Butler, founder of the Union News Company. The attribution is based on the heavy coloring used in the sitter's face, the positioning in the painting of the sitter, the background technique, and the similarity to the example in the Manney collection.
The painting is in excellent condition, with no cracks, bowing, or restoration. It is housed in what appears to be the original locket frame which has a cast foliate rim. The frame is also in good condition, and with the unglazed aperture also having a cast rim. The case size is 2 5/8" by 2 1/8".
NOTE 1: Little is known of Samuel Broadbent, Jr., other than he was born in Wethersfield, CT, the son of an itinerant painter of portraits and miniatures, He married around 1830, and later moved to Philadelphia. While living there, he exhibited a portrait of Thomas Sully at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His miniature portraits are quite uncommon.
NOTE 2: The Union News Company (1908-1969), located in New York City, was first known for the sale of newspapers on the railroad. The company expanded to sales of beverages, snacks, etc. on the train, then into restaurants (in train stations). As a wholly owned subsidiary of the American News Company they became major publishers and distributors of postcards and other printed items through their newsstands at hotels, rail and subway stations. They are particularly known for their vintage post cards.