Brunk Auctions
Live Auction

Premier Auction | May 19, 2023

Fri, May 19, 2023 09:00AM EDT
Lot 647

Jeremiah Theus, Important Georgia Portrait

Estimate: $50,000 - $75,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$100 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $200
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

(Charleston, South Carolina/Swiss, 1716-1774) 
Portrait of James Habersham, Jr., unsigned, oil on canvas, 30 x 25 in., good old gilt wood frame with applied decoration, 37-1/2 x  32 in.

Note: James Habersham Jr. (1745-1799) was a planter, merchant, slave trader and politician who was speaker in the Georgia General Assembly. He also served on the board of trustees which established the University of Georgia in 1785.

As noted in the volume by Margaret Simmons Middleton, Jeremiah Theus, Colonial artist of Charles Town, p. 10 - There is a letter written by the Honorable James, Habersham, governor of Georgia, (Collections of the Georgia Historical Society) which discusses this commission and gives the price that was charged

To Mr. Jeremiah Theus. Charlestown, pr Mr. Kinkard
Savannah in Georgia. The 31 July 1772

I received your letter of the eighth instant by captain Churchill, with all my family pictures, besides Mr. Wylly’s, and Mr. Crookes, Colonel Jones’ grandchild, and two for Mr. Clay, which are all delivered. I have also your account for my seven pictures, amounting to Three Hundred and Twenty pounds, South Carolina currency, which I shall soon order to be paid to you. Perhaps I shall get Mr. Kincard do it.
I am Sir your most humble servant. James Habersham.


Literature: Lambert, F. (2012) James Habersham: Loyalty, politics, and commerce in Colonial Georgia. Athens, Georgia: University Of Georgia Press.


backed and restretched, retouch visible under blacklight (please see photo), several old repairs as well as what appears to be more recent restoration in area of face and hair; frame resurfaced and with some losses 

The Charleston Renaissance Gallery, Charleston, South Carolina; Estate of Lynda Miller Lipscomb, Charleston, South Carolina