PORTRAIT OF JUDGE EDMUND QUINCY OF BRAINTREE, MASSACHUSETTS. ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN SMIBERT (1688-1751).

Est. $6,000-$8,000
Sold: $10,560 ($8,800)

Edmund Quincy (1681-1738), like his father and grandfather, was deeply involved in the affairs of the Massachusetts colony. Graduating from Harvard College in 1699, he returned to Braintree (now Quincy), where he served as a selectman and militia colonel before being appointed Judge of the Massachusetts Superior Court, a position he held from 1718-1737. In 1738 he traveled to London, representing Massachusetts in a border dispute with New Hampshire. Concerned about smallpox, he agreed to an inoculation but succumbed to the virus one month later. His youngest daughter, Dorothy, married John Hancock in 1775. According to family tradition, John Smibert painted two portraits of Judge Quincy, one now in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and this portrait that remained in the family into the 20th century. Oil on canvas, 29 ¼ x 24 ½ inches, sight. Unsigned. The reverse with labels for the Addison Gallery, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts; Fogg Museum of Art (#5885); and a temporary loan label for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (T.L.1085). In a gilt carved period frame.

Provenance: By descent in the family to Edmund Quincy (1808-1877); to his son, Dr. Henry Parker Quincy (1838-1899), the sitter’s great-great-great grandson, and thence to his wife, Mrs. H.P. Quincy (Mary Gardiner Adams 1845-1928); Frederick R. Nourse family, Dedham, Massachusetts, circa 1942-1995; Sotheby’s Important Americana, New York, May 23, 2002, lot 214.

Literature: Cited in the Frick Art Reference Library files as a Smibert portrait of Judge Quincy owned by Edmund Quincy, which quotes Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings, Dec. 1878, pp. 398-99; recorded in Henry Wilder Foote, “John Smibert, Painter,” 1950, p. 185, as Judge Edmund Quincy, No. 2; described as a replica or copy in Richard H. Saunders, “John Smibert: Colonial America’s First Portrait Painter,” p. 200, no. 125.

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