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Ruth Henshaw Bascom (American, 1772-1848) Lot of Four Profile Portraits of the Phillips Family: Israel Phillips (1771-1844), brother-in

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American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 2412
Date / Time :
June 08, 2008 11:00AM


Ruth Henshaw Bascom (American, 1772-1848) Lot of Four Profile Portraits of the Phillips Family: Israel Phillips (1771-1844), brother-in-law of the artist; his wife Mercy Bascom Phillips (1774-1853), sister of the artist's husband (Ezekiel Lysander Bascom), their son Simon Cady Phillips (1819-1906), nephew of the artist, and his wife Rossy Sofia Ballard Phillips (1818-1875). The portrait of Israel Phillips faintly inscribed and dated, possibly by the artist, "Mrs. R.H. Bascom ---- Bernardston 1842," and in a later hand "Israel Phillips of Greenfield sketched by Mrs. Ruth Bascom of Bernardston June 1842" in pencil on the reverse; the other three portraits also with identifying inscriptions on the backboards. Pastel with graphite on paper, the portrait of Rossy Phillips with segments of gold foil applied to her necklace, the first three portraits measuring 19 x 14, the portrait of Rossy Phillips measures 18 x 13 in., all in original wood frames. Condition: Foxing, the portrait of Mercy B. Phillips was extended by the artist with a strip of paper.

Provenance: Descended through the family of the sitters.

Note: Israel Phillips was born in Oxford, Worcester County, Massachusetts on April 7, 1771. He married Mercy Bascom, born Feb. 7, 1774, in Gill, Massachusetts, on Nov. 6, 1794, and together they had eleven children. Their youngest child, a son named Simon Cady Phillips, was born August 8, 1819 in Greenfield, Massachusetts. He married Rossy Sophia Ballard on January 27, 1847, and they resided in Gill, Massachusetts. The 1880 census lists Simon C. Phillips age as 60, was a widower, (his wife Rossy died November 9, 1874). His occupation was a carpenter. The artist Ruth Henshaw Bascom was related by marriage to the older woman portrayed here, Mercy Bascom Phillips. Mercy was the older sister of Ruth's second husband, Ezekiel Lysander Bascom. Ruth Bascom kept an extensive diary, which she maintained from 1789 through 1846. References to the portraits of Israel, Mercy, and Simon Phillips are found in a diary dated for June 1842, and were done June 1, 3, and 7. The diaries Ruth Bascom kept are now archived at the American Antiquarian Society, Manuscripts Department, Worcester, Massachusetts. It is not known when the likeness of Rossy was done. She was not married to Simon in 1842, and would not be until five years later on January 27, 1847 .
Estimate $30,000-50,000

The portrait of Israel Phillips is inscribed on the back in pencil "Israel Phillips of Greenfield Mass. Sketched June 1842 by Mrs. Ruth Bascom."
- Mercy Bascom Phillips- inscribed in pencil on the backboard: "Mercy Bascom wife of Israel Phillips mother of Simon C. Phillips youngest of seven brothers and one sister, of Gill and Greenfield/ grandmother of Emma J. Phillips Blake Gill (Massachusetts) Great-grandmother of Ernest E. Blake of Gill/Great-great grandmother of Clesson Phillips Blake of Gill and Ruth J. Blake Cook of Gill and -----sbury.; Simon Phillips- the back of the portrait of is inscribed in pencil "Simon Phillips sketched by Mrs. Ruth Bascom 1842," the backboard is inscribed in pencil and overinscribed in pen "Simon C. Phillips (August 8 1819) Born 1819 died 1906."; Rossy Ballard Phillips-The backboard is inscribed "Rossy Ballard Phillips wife of Simon Cady Phillips of Gill, Mass. by Ruth Bascom 1842. and ''"Property of Ernest E. Blake Gill, Mass."


Simon Cady Phillips, Israel Phillips, Mercy Bascom Phillips, Ruth Bascom, Greenfield, Rossy Sofia Ballard Phillips, Massachusetts, Emma J. Phillips Blake Gill, Mercy Bascom, Ruth Henshaw Bascom, Ezekiel Lysander Bascom, Mercy B. Phillips, brother-in-law, R.H. Bascom, Gill, Oxford, Worcester County, Sophia Ballard, carpenter , Ruth Henshaw, Israel, American Antiquarian Society, Manuscripts Department, Simon Cady, Ernest E. Blake, J. Blake Cook, Clesson Phillips Blake, Ruth J. Blake, Rossy Sofia Ballard, E. Blake Gill, Ballard Phillips, Franklin County, Massachusetts, Sports, Springfield, Massachusetts metropolitan area