(American, 19th century)
Lady with Unusual Jewelry, unsigned, oil on canvas, 26-1/2 x 20-1/2 in.; period carved gilt wood frame, 30 x 24 in.
Provenance: Private Collection, Asheville, North Carolina
Note: The specific iconography of the sitter's jewelry is unknown. While the anchor and cornucopia are well known symbols, the use of them together is still a mystery. In this portrait, the pendant is tucked to one side, defying gravity to rest over her heart, revealing the brooch underneath, which also bears a mysterious symbol. Is she perhaps pointing to a companion portrait of a loved one? Do the symbols refer to him? A secret society?
linen lined, crackle, evidence of repaired tears with subsequent retouch, area of repair near hand with lifting paint; frame with wear and abrasions, commensurate with age
Private Collection, Asheville, North Carolina