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Attributed to Joseph H. Davis (American, 1811-1865) A Double Portrait of Asa and Susannah Caverly.

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American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 2308
Date / Time :
February 19, 2006 11:00AM


Attributed to Joseph H. Davis (American, 1811-1865)

A Double Portrait of Asa and Susannah Caverly. Unsigned. Inscription below "Asa Caverly. Aged 24. October 5th 1836/ Painted at Strafford/Bow Pond/August 9th/1836/ Susanna Caverly. Aged 29. August 14th 1835. Watercolor and ink on paper, portraying Asa, reading the DOVER GAZETTE and his wife Susannah, holding a small book, seated on fancy marbleized painted chairs beside a marbleized painted table with the family bible, a letter, pen and ink and a vase of flowers. On the wall is a framed picture, likely the Caverly farm and sheep, outlined by a green garland. On the floor is a brightly patterned carpet, along with the family calico cat and spaniel; 11 x 14 in., in a period wooden frame. Condition: Minor toning.

Note: Note: According to Robert B. Caverly, Geneology of the Caverly Family from the year 1116 to the year 1880, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1880, Asa Caverly was the son of John Caverly, born October 5, 1812, and lived on his farm at Strafford, New Hampshire, near the old Caverly family homestead. On October 28, 1833, he married Susan Bunker of Strafford, who was born August 14, 1807.

Exhibited: Three New England Watercolor Painters, Art Institute of Chicago: Nov. 16-Dec 22, 1974, St Louis Art Museum: Jan. 17-Mar. 2, 1975, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection: Mar. 25-May 11, 1975, Currier Gallery of Art: Jun. 1-Sept. 1, retaining exhibition label; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, By and for the People: American Folk Art From a Private Collection, October 3rd -November 14th 1976, retaining exhibition label.1975. Literature: In Folk Art's Many Faces, by Paul S. D'Ambrosio and Charlotte M. Eman, New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, New York, p. 63, this painting was one of six attributed to Davis depicting Caverly family relatives from New Hampshire; American Country: FOLK ART, created by Rebus, Inc., published by Time-Life Books, 1990, p. 152; Three New England Watercolor Painters, by Gail and Norbert H. Savage and Esther Parks, Institute of Chicago, 1974, p. 25, fig. 4; Folk Painters of America, by Robert Bishop, E.P. Dutton, New York, 1979, plate 12; 'Art: Special Breed at Folk Art Sale,' The New York Times, December 2, 1977; How to know American Folk Art, by Ruth Andrews, E.P. Dutton, New York, 1977, p. 112, fig. 76.

Estimate $40,000-60,000

- spot glued to cardboard backing at the top, margins of 3/16 in. (rt. edge) or more, rt. edge trimmed to 3/16 and uneven toward the bottom of the edge, the left margin extends about an inch beyond the image, small losses on upper two corners, 3/4/ x 1/2 in. minor toning, old but not original frame, newer glass.


Joseph H. Davis, Susannah Caverly, Strafford, Susanna Caverly, New Hampshire, reading, Caverly farm, Robert B. Caverly, Susan Bunker, John Caverly, Lowell, Massachusetts, Susan Bunker of Strafford, Chicago, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Currier Gallery of Art, New England, Art Collection, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Gallery of Art, St Louis Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Art Institute of Chicago, Currier Gallery, Cooperstown, New York State Historical Association, Charlotte M. Eman, Paul S. D'Ambrosio, Rebus Inc., Institute of Chicago, Esther Parks, Gail Savage, Norbert H. Savage, E.P. Dutton, Robert Bishop, Ruth Andrews, The New York Times, Folk art, Painting, Southern art, Watercolor painting