A beautiful and finely painted miniature portrait painting, done in watercolor on natural material, by Thomas Seir Cummings. The sitter is a very attractive woman wearing an academic or possibly a cleric gown, and a white lace and blue material cap. The frame, which is later, is a beautiful burl wood.
The sight size is 4" by 3", and the framed size is 6 1/2" by 5 1/2". Condition is excellent, with no cracks, chips, paint loss, bowing, or restoration. The slight disturbance along the bottom edge is due to the miniature itself being at a slight angle within the frame, which has been corrected and no longer shows. The frame is also in fine condition.
NOTES: 1. For a very similar work by Cummings, see Accession Number 2006.235.33 in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, shown on their site.
2. Thomas Seir Cummings was born in England in 1804, and was taken to NYC as a child, where he remained until he retired in 1866. He died in NJ in 1894. Cummings became a student of Henry Inman in 1821 and after three years went into partnership with him, which lasted several years. He was one of the founders of the National Academy of Design. Cummings later became one of the most successful miniaturists in the second quarter of the 19th century, and his works are in virtually every important museum in the U.S. One of his most famous pieces (shown in the fourth photo), a work truly unique in the world of miniaturists, is a bracelet he made with portraits of the first 9 children (of the eventual 14) that he and his wife, Jane Cook, had.