A Local Portrait Attributed to John Adams Elder

A Local Portrait Attributed to John Adams Elder

This portrait of Mary Ann Appler Abbett of Spotsylvania is a copy of an earlier miniature. It was painted ca 1860 and we believe the artist was John Adams Elder of Fredericksburg.

Here is some history provided by the family:

Painted for the sitter’s son Henry Middleton Abbett and his wife Jane Hall Chancellor Abbett from the earlier Dickinson miniature. It descended in the family until 2017.
Henry’s obit relays that he was a “spy” for the Confederacy imprisoned at Fort McHenry, and among the first exchanged. Jane was with her Mother at the Battle of Chancellorsville.
The artist, following precedent, did not sign nor date the painting in that it was executed after another work. Painterly style and colour palette would indicate that the portrait should be attributed to Fredericksburg artist J. A. Elder.
Original frame with spandrel. Canvas lightly cleaned only, not relined.
Jane Hall Chancellor Abbett was the sister of Sue Chancellor of 300 Caroline Street. (Both Jane and Sue were at Chancellorsville with their mother Fannie Pound Chancellor.)

This portrait is recorded in the Smithsonian’s art inventories catalog. If you will google for SIRIS and then enter the sitter’s name you will find it. [sorry I couldn’t make a link work]

Spotsylvania, Va, 1860 c.H: 24 and 32 w/ frame"W: 20 and 28 w/ frame"