Lot 410: Early 1800's Superb Octagonal Graphite and Chalk Portrait By Charles Saint-Memin
29 October 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
Superb Large Octagonal Portrait Of A Gentleman By Charles Saint-Memin
Octagonal Profile Portrait of a Gentleman, by Charles Saint-Memin, Graphite and Chalk upon pink paper, Custom Framed. Extremely Fine.
This original Graphite Portrait, measuring 17.25" x 13.75" (22" x 19" with frame), was drawn in the early 1800's by Charles Saint-Menin. The portrait is of an unidentified young man, facing left, in a gilt wooden frame of the period. Four gilt rosettes surround the eight-sided portrait, similar to those seen with other Saint-Memin portraits. This is a new discover, not listed in the Smithsonian catalog of Saint-Memin's work, compiled by Ellen Miles, which lists a thousand of his works. The portrait is trimmed, laid on cardstock, and later chalk has been added to the space around the figure. There is a small scuff in the hair, and a bit of the trim on the frame is missing, otherwise the complete ensemble is in great shape. Very Rare.
Charles Julien Saint-Memin (1770-1852) was a French nobleman who came to New York in 1793, and in 1796 began making portraits. With the aid of the physiognotrace, a mechanical device that allowed for the relatively easy creation of profiles, Saint-Memin produced hundreds of portraits in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond, Washington and elsewhere.