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Fine Art/Pastel Portrait


Pastel Portrait of Woman
Pastel Portrait of Wom  
QUESTION: I'm trying to identify the artist and date of this very lovely pastel portrait. The signature is difficult to make out...maybe "S" then a last name beginning with "W" or "V"?
(I will send signature photo in separate question as this form only allows one attachment.)
The frame detail is interesting as well, possibly original?
It is behind glass and measures about 22" x 26".
Thank you very much.

Among the most famous portraitists of the nineteenth century with "S.W." initials:

Samuel Bell Waugh
Samuel Lovett Waldo

Let's hope it is one of them.  Is this a relative?  Provenance?  Good luck in your further research.

It's a beautiful painting.  Hang it and enjoy it!  Many old portraits of ancestors are dreadful...not this one!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for the information, Stu. I researched the two portraitists that you mentioned and saw some similarities stylistically to my piece, but I didn't see any examples of drawings or pastel by them--only oil paintings. Do you think it is plausible that one of them might have worked in pastels as well?
In terms of provenance. This is an unknown woman--not a family member. The drawing was bought by my in-laws, when they were buying a lot of antiques and collectibles in New England in the 1960s and 70s.

N -
Absolutely possible.  But I have to say, this is a bit of wild shot.  

Best to have a professional look over your painting in person.  I highly recommend you contact this gallery that is expert in old New England portraits such as yours.  If you can provide them with a closeup shot of the signature, it will help them immensely.  If you are in New England, and can make an appointment to get the painting in to them in person...that is best.

Best of luck,

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Contact: Sarah B. Cunningham

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Stuart Cartwright


American Fine Art Paintings.
Oils, Watercolors, Sketches. Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century. Hudson River School, Pennsylvania Academy, Cape Ann artists, Ash Can, Woodstock, Florida Indian River, American Impressionists, etc. I can provide some background about artists and perhaps a rough appraisal or guidance towards obtaining a value. I am acquainted with many of the best American art dealers and auction houses. Original works only, I do not follow the print market. I do NOT field questions about prints.

Important to know
I am not expert in European art. I encourage you to send questions on European artists to other experts on this service. NO PRINTS:I encourage you to seek help on prints elsewhere. Two sites come to mind: and


I have been collecting original American Fine Art for over 20 years. I have curated art shows, and I have served as a dealer, providing appraisals and guidance for the last 8 years.

Bachelor of Arts Master of Business Administration

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