Double portrait of Colonel and Mrs. Adams c.1720; Attributed to Charles Jervas.
By Roy Precious From United Kingdom
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Oil on canvas in reproduction 18th c. style gilt frame.
Inscribed, upper right, 'Col.n Sam & Rose Adams'.
A pleasing double portrait of Colonel Samuel Adams and his wife Rose, to whom he offers his snuff box for her to take a pinch. This is most unusual in portraiture.
(Snuff is a product made from ground or pulverised tobacco leaves. It originated in the Americas and was in common use in Europe by the 17th century.
It was generally inhaled or "snuffed" through the nose, usually directly from the fingers.
By the 18th century, snuff had become the tobacco product of choice among the upper classes, both male and female. The taking of snuff helped to distinguish the elite members of society from the common populace, which generally smoked its tobacco.)
The Adams were an Irish family, they had emigrated to Ulster from Scotland in the 17th century. Colonel James Adams, who settled in County Down in the mid 17th century had been an officer in the Parliamentary Army.
The sitter, Colonel Samuel Adams, was the son of Samuel Adams and Sarah Burbank.
CHARLES JERVAS (c. 1675 – 1739) was an Irish portrait painter, translator, and art collector.
Born in County Offaly, Ireland around 1675, Jervas studied in London, England as an assistant under Sir Godfrey Kneller between 1694 and 1695.
Painting portraits of the city's intellectuals, among them such personal friends as Jonathan Swift and the poet Alexander Pope (both now in the National Portrait Gallery, London), Charles Jervas became a popular artist often referred to in the works of literary figures of the period.
Jervas gave painting lessons to Pope at his house in Cleveland Court, St James's, which Pope mentions in his poem, To Belinda on the Rape of the Lock, written 1713, published 1717 in 'Poems on Several Occasions'.
With his growing reputation, Jervas succeeded Kneller as Principal Portrait Painter to King George I in 1723, and continued to live in London until his death in 1739, although he made made lengthy visits to Ireland.
SIZE: 45 x 51.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: *American Private Collection.
* Collection of a Fellow of a Cambridge College.
Verso: old inventory number; old Christie's stencil; old handwritten label "Colonel Samuel & Mrs. Adams. P. Mercier. To Christie's York from Vaughn, 102 Westbourne Ave. Hull"
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