Miniature self-portraits are rare and so this is self portrait by Meriva Carpenter (1802-1887) is very interesting.
On the reverse there is the inscription shown which reads "Meriva Carpenter - painted by herself - 1838. Meriva daughter Dr Ruggles and Juliana Pierce Carpenter was born April 28, 1802 in Ellington Tolland Co. Conn. Married to Eli, Feb 1820 son of Dr Eli and Abigail Baker Carpenter of Orford, Grafton Co. New Hamps here at Tolland, Tolland Co, Conn. Then moved in March 1820 from Greenwich, Hampshire Co. Mass. to Homer, Cortland Co NY for a permanent home".
Research has indicated that Meriva and Eli were cousins. There is also a sachet of hair marked as shown "My Hand writing and Hair - Meriva Carpenter - Homer". For Meriva's burial place see Glenwood Cem Alpha List CA names. Her husband Eli Carpenter (1793-1863) is also buried there.
Two addtional comments can be made. Firstly, how different, and more interesting, miniature portrait collecting would be, if this amount of information were behind all portraits.
Secondly, and very sadly, this Collector did bid at a subsequent 2005 auction which included two equally well signed and identified miniature portraits of her parents, painted by Meriva Carpenter. They are shown above, the portrait of Dr Ruggles Carpenter was dated 1836 and that of Mrs Julian Pierce Carpenter was dated 1838. Regretfully, they went far above the estimate ($1955 price sale as against $600-$800 estimate) and thus, as the under bidder, this collector was only able to reunite Meriva with her parents to the extent of placing these images together. Details of Meriva's parents burial can be seen at Town of DeRuyter, Old Burying Ground
For more information on the family, please see the attached comments where a very helpful Carpenter family historian has provided some more information about the family, including the fact that Carpenterville NY was named after the family. Information about early Carpenterville is contained at History of Homer, New York 719Also showing here is a second miniature self portrait of Meriva Carpenter as a young lady which was obtained for this collection several years after the version of her as an older lady.
Self portraits by miniature painters are rare, and to be able to reunite these two self portraits by Meriva Carpenter was very special. 1358