Published: November 5, 2002
BOSTON, MASS. — A child’s portrait by Joseph Whiting Stock (American, 1815-1855) sold for $35,250 at Skinner’s Americana auction this past Saturday. The large (31- by 23-inch) full-length portrait depicted a child in a blue/green dress with a rose in her hand and a cat at her feet. A phone bidder won the lot well above its estimated price of $20/25,000.
Skinner Americana specialist Martha Hamilton told correspondent Bob Jackman, “In addition to being a charming painting, this work had several additional strengths. It was in remarkable condition. Under a blacklight the only paint loss was a small area of background that could be seen in visible light. It also had a strong stamp of authenticity as it was listed and illustrated in the 1976 book The Paintings and the Journal of Joseph Whiting Stock by Juliette Tomlinson. The painting was said to have been fresh to the market remaining in the same collection continuously since Tomlinson was preparing her book.
“The painting has all the features that collectors seek in a Stock painting,” continued Hamilton. “There is a fresh naïveté to the image that the market likes. The child gazes straight-forward and directly at the viewer. Stock often personalized portraits by including a portrait of a child’s pet. In this case, the gray striped cat sits at the child’s foot and the child is standing upon an ingrain carpet.”
A full account of the auction appear in a future issue.
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