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A brilliant Englishman well-known for his reforms while serving as a government official in India, Thomas Law came to the United States seeking a fresh start amid the political and social freedom of the new republic. This miniature depicts him much as he must have appeared when he first met the beautiful and spirited Eliza Parke Custis, eldest granddaughter of Martha Washington. The couple married in 1796 and had a daughter, but they separated in 1804 and divorced in 1811. Though unsigned, the miniature is likely by Robert Field, who painted other portraits of Washington family members in 1801, including Martha Washington. The reverse bears a woven plat of Law’s hair. More

Date

c. 1801


People


Geography


Material/Technique

Polychrome watercolor on ivory; Burnished copper alloy bezel case with a woven plat of hair on the reverse.


Dimensions

Overall: 3 1/4 in. x 2 1/4 in. x 5/16 in. (8.26 cm x 5.72 cm x 0.79 cm)
Other (miniature): 2 3/4 in. x 2 1/4 in. (6.99 cm x 5.72 cm)


Credit

Purchased with funds donated by Mrs. William S. (Jeanie) Kilroy, Sr., 2008


Object Number

H-4831


Colors


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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