Peale, James - portrait of Rebecca Reynolds Maverick

This miniature was acquired as unsigned and unidentified. It was housed in a heavily American chased case from around 1830 that did not suit it. Additionally, the miniature is slightly too large for the bezel and thus sits below it when framed. This is usually a sign of a miniature having been reframed.

On opening the case the inscription shown was found inside. This looks to be by a later hand and suggests the miniature is by James Peale. However, there is currently some hesitation about confirming this attribution, as it does not really look like other examples of his work. It may be by another artist or is perhaps a copy of a miniature by James Peale. The most likely of other artists seems to be Pierre Henri (1760-1822) who was active in New York in 1788. However, this attribution is also tentative in the meantime.

The identification of the sitter seems clearer. Peter Rushton Maverick (1755-1811) was a noted engraver of New York. He was noted for his engraved pictures and book-plates. Silverware engraved by him is highly sought after.

He married twice, firstly in 1772 to Ann Reynolds and secondly in 1788 to Rebecca Reynolds (1756-19 Oct 1852) who was possibly the sister of Ann.

Judging by the clothing and hairstyle, this portrait is more likely to be of Rebecca Reynolds Maverick. Peter had several children with Ann, but with Rebecca had only one son Samuel Maverick, born in 1789. Rebecca appears to be living with Samuel in the 1841 census.

In 2001 a snuff box engraved by Maverick achieved a record auction price of $732,000 (premium included). It was the John Jay Freedom Box, which was made in New York and presented by the Corporation of the City of New York to John Jay.

The snuff box had the marker's mark of Samuel Johnson, New York, 1784, and was also signed by Peter Rushton Maverick as the engraver. The cover of the box is engraved with the seal of the City of New York and it measures three and a half inches long and three quarters of an inch high. 1227

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