Cat. No. 66
American Portrait Miniature of John Cooke of Virginia c.1807: Good looking young man stated to be John Rogers Cooke (1788-1854) of Virginia. I purchased this miniature about 18-20 years ago (1989) at a mid-south auction, probably Brunk's. The miniature bore a label which read "John Cook Born about 1776 and died in 1854" but with no further provenance. After a some research, I came across the attached portrait of John Rogers Cooke in the Virginia Historical Society collection of portraits (see example) . The portrait is by Cephas Thompson and dated at c.1810. However this date is wrong as the sitter is obviously a good bit older than the twenty-two years that Cook would have been in 1810. Also the clothing would date the portrait closer to 1820. This makes perfect sense as Thompson again traveled through the south in 1818. This miniature was painted c.1807-8 and shows a young man of about twenty. Allowing for the 10-11 years or so between the two portraits, the similarities are striking and similar enough for me to feel confident that the label on the miniature was indeed correct and this finely painted miniature shows John Cooke at an earlier age. I have had no success in identifying the talented miniaturist who painted this. It could be one of any number of as yet unidentified artists passing through Virginia during the first years of the 19th. century. Since the Cooke family had come over from Bermuda in 1791, it is not out of the question that this was done by an English or other itinerant artist from the Islands passing through the area. A full biography of Cooke can be found on the Virginia Historical Society web site. This portrait miniature, painted about 1807, is watercolor on ivory and is in excellent condition.
Creation Year: c1807
Measurements: 2 1/2 x 2 7/8 INCHES (Painting), 4 3/8 x 5 inches (w/frame)
Style: Portrait Miniature
Technique: watercolor on ivory
Inscription: “John Cook Born about 1776 and died in 1854”
Provenance: Private Collection
Condition: In very good overall condition.
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