Thursday

Bartlett, Jason - portrait of Elizabeth Fontaine

This miniature portrait is unsigned, but at present is believed to be by Jason Robbins Bartlett.

The miniature is housed in a wooden swing type frame from the early 20C, but seems to be badly smoke damaged, as if it has been rescued after a fire.

The miniature has a frame supplier's label inside saying "M'F'D By Hobbs & Sutphen 32 E Adams St Chicago."

The ivory plaque is 75mm x 55mm. I am not sure whether the colors are original, or were affected by the heat of the fire.

The rear backing paper is torn and very hard to read due to the apparent smoke damage, but with a little research, it now seems that it may read as follows;

"(Eli)zabeth Fontaine born (Greens)ville King Wm Co Va (King William County Virginia) (gr)and daughter of Patrick (Henr)y Died at Reidsville (Red Hill?) Mar 5 (18)76. Miniature painted by (Bar)tlett."

Patrick Henry was a famous patriot, who lived at Red Hill. However, the limited research so far has failed to identify Elizabeth precisely, although there do appear to have been marriages between the Henry and Fontaine families.

If the reading of the artist's name is correct, it would seem it may be Jason Robbins Bartlett who was active in Philadelphia and New York between 1811 and 1832. 1136

Subsequently, I have received the following information from a kind visitor, providing information from the Red Hill website. It does not clearly identify the sitter, but the information is repeated here in case it is of assistance to any other researcher.

"At http://www.redhill.org/descendants_genealogy.html
I see the following: 'Edmund Dabney Winston, married cousin Elizabeth Fontaine, children, died 1875, age 76 Mississippi, both buried at "Ridgeway" in Pontotoc County, MS.'

And also Edmund's father, 'George Dabney Winston, born 2 Aug 1771, died 15 Jul 1831 Rockingham, North Carolina.' If that is the TOWN of Rockingham NC in Richmond County, which is about 100 miles south of Reidsville: http://www.mitchellspublications.com/guides/nc/rockingham/

However, if that is the COUNTY of Rockingham NC, that IS Reidsville! http://www.reidsvillechamber.org/history.php

There was another grandchild, Sarah Shelton Aylett Fontaine, daughter of Elizabeth Henry and Philip Aylett, who better matches some of the info on your miniature, but not the name itself: 'Sarah Shelton married William Spotswood Fontaine, children, died 1876, age 64, in North Carolina, buried in City Cemetery, Reidsville, NC.'

Patrick Henry's first wife was Sarah Shelton, grandmother of Sarah Shelton Aylett Fontaine. The above Elizabeth Fontaine's husband Edmund Winston was grandson of Patrick Henry and his second wife, Dorothea Dandridge."

Also, from the same visitor; "My third grade teacher, the late Julia Henry Farson, descendant of Patrick Henry's first cousin Judge James Henry, talked about the fact that most Henry descendants have one eye noticeably larger than the other. She had the characteristic, as did both of her sons. That characteristic seems to be present in the subject of your Elizabeth Fontaine miniature. " 1136

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