A truly beautiful portrait of a youthful George Washington attributed to Rembrandt Peale swept the saleroom at Skinner’s Americana sale this past Sunday, June 6, when it sold for $446,000 to Rusty Donohue of Americana Antiques, Oxford, Md.
Donohue left the gallery abruptly after the picture was hammered down.
The handsome painting is of a hopeful, even idealistic, Colonel Washington who smiles slightly. He is dressed colorfully in red breeches and a red waistcoat, beneath a dark blue coat lined with red.
Although it is unsigned, the painting is a very close copy of Charles Willson Peale’s 1772 Washington. Bidding on the painting opened at $18,000 and raced past the estimated $12/18,000 to the final bid, which generated a round of applause.
The picture came from a Cape Cod house and had suffered some from the elements, but not enough to deter bidders.
Members of the media from around the nation crowded into the Boston gallery to see Ted William’s 1959 wool uniform sold. Estimated at $80/120,000, it sold just below estimates at $82,250 going to a Southern buyer on the phone.
A full report of this sale will appear in a future issue.