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This portrait of a seated woman with corkscrew curls, black hair, dark eyes and facing slightly to her right is one of a pair. She is wearing a black dress with a lace-edged collar, and a gold-framed hair brooch pinned to her bodice. She wears a white-edged black shawl off her left shoulder, and her dress has lace-edged sleeves. Her left hand is visible with a gold ring on her index finger. The portrait has a painted grain frame with gilding.
paintings (visual works)
oil paint (paint)
"Mementos: Jewelry of Life and Love from Historic New England": Although it may be hard to tell from their somber expressions and black clothing, this is a wedding portrait. Local woodcarver Aaron Burnham married Lucy Cogswell eighteen months after the death of his first wife. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, portraits of husbands and wives were often arranged to face one another when hung on a wall.
Incised on the lower stretcher bar is: Painted by A.J. Wiggin, Sept. 1849. In the upper left stretcher on the back, on a typewritten white label is: Portrait of Lucy (Cogswell) Burnham/of Essex, Mass. Wife of Aaron Burnham./Born in Essex, July 17, 1813. Married July 1, 1849 died Sept.10, 1880./This portrait was painted at the time of her/ marriage by A.J. Wiggin Sept.1849. Purchased in Essex about 1935. In black stencil on the lower right of the canvas reads: From/J.J. Adams./99 Washington St./Boston .
Burnham, Aaron L., Mr., 1807
Original to Cogswell's Grant (Essex, Mass.),
Wiggin, Alfred J. (Maker)
30 1/4 x 25 1/2 (HxW) (inches)
Gift of Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little
Massachusetts (United States)
Title Painting Accession Number 1991.972.1