PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN WEARING A BLUE COAT WITH LEDGER BOOKS, MASSACHUSETTS, CIRCA 1780.

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Pastel on paper, 22 ½ x 17 inches, in a reproduction “Hogarth” style frame. A crisply rendered pastel portrait of a merchant in a blue velvet coat posed before a shelf holding his account books identified on their spines as “Ledger,” “Journal,” and “Waste.” The unidentified artist of this work may have been influenced by the portraiture of the Salem born artist Benjamin Blyth (1746-1811).

When discovered this work was backed with early Boston newspaper.

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