A miniature portrait painting by Abraham Parsell, done in his recognizable style with a multicolored background and the sitter having somewhat frizzy hair, posed with his arm on a chair. Housed in its original cast foliate frame with a glazed rear aperture. The original leather travel case comes with this piece, although it has separated at the hinge and held in place with a safety pin.
The painting is 2 3/4" by 2 1/4". Condition is excellent with no cracks, bowing, paint loss or restoration. There is a small sliver at the extreme right central edge, of little to no effect on the appearance or value, and most likely having occurred when the ivory was cut to size by the artist. As is normal with most of my photos, and a testament to my skill as a photographer, the painting looks far better in person than as shown here.
NOTES: 1. Abraham Parsell (1792 - 1856) was a popular American folk miniature painter, born in Neshanic, New Jersey in 1791. He was the child of Oliver Parsell and Lucretia Williamson Parsell. Parsell married Mary Richards in New Jersey in 1819, and moved to Manhattan, living there from from 1820 to 1856. This was unusual in that he chose to stay in NY, competing with many fine miniaturists, rather than follow an itinerant route.
Examples of Abraham Parsell's work are in the collections of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the New Jersey Historical Society, among many others.
2. An excellent article by Vincent DiCicco and Howard P. Fertig appeared in the eighth anniversary issue of the magazine "Antiques and Fine Art". Prior to the completion of this article, Mr. Fertig had contacted us about Parsell's works. We had provided him with some information and photos of one of Parsell's earliest pieces, which we had owned, and which he then referenced in the article.