A charming and beautifully rendered watercolor portrait, of a very attractive young woman, painted by Emanuel Reynolds. The sitter is dressed in the height of fashion for the period, around 1837, with a spangled diaphanous blue shawl over a low cut, pleated, black dress highlighted with a central blue brooch. Long blue and purple earrings, and a fine gold chain woven through her elaborate hairdo complete the picture of a wealthy member of the elite society.
What makes this piece truly special, in addition to the aesthetic appeal, is that it was painted by Emanuel Reynolds. During my research, I spoke to several experts and curators in the field, and none had ever seen an example of his work, let alone a signed one such as this, which has, on the backing paper "Painted by E. Reynolds -- 202 Broadway". Very little information about the artist is available, but, according to The New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America 1564 - 1860 (Groce and Wallace) Reynolds worked, for only two years, 1836 - 1837, in NYC, and exhibited at the National Academy.
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, with the glazed aperture also having a cast foliate rim, and containing a lock of the sitter's hair. The case size is 2 3/4" by 2 3/16".