A superb pair of miniature portrait paintings done by Joseph Dunkerley. Labels on the reverse of each case identify the sitters as Joseph Packwood and Denise Wright Packwood, and are dated 1780.
Mrs. Packwood is wearing a large white hat with a blue ribbon and accents, a light blue gown with flowers embroidered on it and with dark lace edging at the bodice. Her husband is wearing a blue jacket and waistcoat, and a white cravat.
Excellent and scarce examples, and in fine condition. The gold on the front is high karat, and the rest of the case is low karat. The reverses of the cases are monogrammed, hers with DP and his with JP. All original. The size is 1 1/2" by 1 1/4".
NOTE 1: Joseph Packwood was born in England in 1729, one of 4 brothers. They emigrated to Bermuda in 1750, stayed there a short while, then went to New London, CT, becoming ship owners. Joseph served as a Captain in the Continental Army in CT and at some point he married Denise Wright.
NOTE 2: (From the Yale University Art Museum database) Joseph Dunkerley's works are often confused with those of John Singleton Copley because of their delicacy, tiny size, and similar casework. The British-born Dunkerley arrived in America around the time of Copley's departure for England, and became one of the first important miniaturists of the new republic. He had come to America during the Revolutionary war with the British army, which he deserted to serve as a lieutenant in the Massachusetts artillery regiment. He left the army in May 1778. In 1781, he rented a house from the patriot-silversmith Paul Revere, who fashioned some of Dunkerley's casework.