An Abraham Parsell painting on natural organic material of a young man with his hand resting on a book. All the characteristics that make Parsell so sought after are present, from the folky treatment of the face, the frizzy hair, and the accessory point of interest, in this case the book. The sitter is Dye Brewer, of Edenton, Chowan county, NC, and this painting descended in the family to a direct relative, a Mrs. Morris of Houston, TX.
The miniature is in a beautiful, cast foliate, period locket, with a glazed aperture and elaborate chasing on the reverse. It measures 2 1/2" by 2 1/16" and is in excellent condition, with no chips, cracks, bowing, or paint loss. The locket is also in excellent condition.
NOTE: Abraham Parsell (1792 - 1856)was a popular American folk miniature painter, born in Neshanic, New Jersey in 1791. He was the child of Oliver Parsell and Lucretia Williamson Parsell. Parsell married Mary Richards in New Jersey in 1819, and moved to Manhattan, living there from from 1820 to 1856. This was unusual in that he chose to stay in NY, competing with many fine miniaturists, rather than follow an itinerant route.
Examples of Abraham Parsell's work are in the collections of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the New Jersey Historical Society, among many others.
An excellent article by Vincent DiCicco and Howard P. Fertig appeared in the eighth anniversary issue of the magazine "Antiques and Fine Art". Prior to the completion of this article, Mr. Fertig had discussed this painting with us, and we had provided him with a picture and information about one of Parsell's earliest works, which we had owned, and which he then referenced in the article.