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American Portrait Miniature Attributed to Joseph Dunkerley of a Gentleman of the New York Van Alen Family, Circa 1785

American Portrait Miniature of a Member of the New York Van Alen Family,

Attributed to Joseph Dunkerley,

Circa 1785

The man is facing right wearing a pale blue coat and waistcoat with a white ruffled shirt. His brown hair is long. The oval miniature is set in a Revere-type gold locket frame with a brightwork inner bezel and a brightwork border on the reverse.

Dimensions: 1 5/8 inches high.

Provenance: Susan Burrows Swan Collection;

Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge Inc (Elle Shushan specialist)

Condition: Water damage to lower left, small hairline sealed at left shoulder.

Reference: American Miniatures, Wehle, 1927, pl. X for the miniature of Mary Burroughs;

American Portrait Miniatures, Strickler, The Worcester Art Museum Collection, 1989, color plate p. 21, cat. no. 63, for the miniature of Stephen Salisbury I.

 The Van Alen Family was among the earliest of the original Dutch settlers of the upper Hudson Valley, New York State.

 Joseph Dunkerley (fl. America 1784-1787) is an artist about whom very little is known.

The only signed piece known is of Mary Fullerton Burroughs (1761-1833) of Boston, painted in 1787. What is known is that Dunkerley advertised the opening of a drawing school with John Hazlett in Boston in 1785. He must have been itinerant, because, after 1787, the first reference to him is in Jamaica at the beginning of the 19th century. A miniature of Stephen Salisbury I, of Worcester, now in the Worcester Art Museum is also believed to be by Dunkerley. The similarity of both the style of painting and the Revere-type frame is striking. Miniatures attributable to Dunkerley are exceedingly rare.

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