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Portrait of Ezra Weston, Jr. (1772-1842)

1793 (probably)
Origin: America, Massachusetts, Duxbury
Unframed: 37 3/4" x 25" and Framed: 43 1/4" X 30 1/2"
Oil on canvas
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1972.100.2
A half-length portrait of a young man shown standing and turned one quarter towards the viewer's right, his far arm resting on the surface of a desk. He has blue eyes and reddish-brown hair, the latter chin length and frizzed at the bottom. He wears a reddish-brown coat and waistcoat, dark breeches, and white ruffled shirt and double, pleated neck cloth. From his waist hangs a short length of silver chain supporting a watch key and seal. He holds, in front of him, with both hands, a letter with red sealing wax on it. The desk to the viewer's right of him supports a brown, leather-bound book and an inkstand with a quill in it. The background is a dark brown with a paler, warmer, irregularly-shaped vertical streak through it serving to highlight the face.
The 3-inch molded white pine frame, painted black, with gold inner and outer borders, is original.
Label:Ezra, son of Ezra and Salumith (Wadsworth) Weston, was born in Duxbury on November 30. 1771, in the first house built by his father on his farm at Powder Point. On June 9,1793, he married Jerusha Bradford of Duxbury. In 1798, he went into partnership with his father. From 1764 to 1842, Ezra Weston or "King Caesar" as he was called by townspeople and his son, Ezra Weston, Jr., maintained a shipping business so substantial that Lloyds of London listed the Westons as "the largest‚ ship-owners in America." After his father's death in 1822, Ezra, Jr. carried on the firm under the name "Ezra Weston" until his own death in 1842. The firm was then maintained by his sons under the name of "E. Weston & Sons" until 1857.
Provenance:Descended as part of a group from Ezra Weston, Jr., of Duxbury, Mass., probably to son Hon. Gershom Bradford Weston, probably to son Capt. Gershom Weston, to daughter Judith Sprague Weston Kendal, to daughter Mrs. Margaret S Kendal Carter of Waltham, Mass.; purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Howard Lipman, New York, N.Y., 1948; in possession of Miss Mary Allis, Southport, Conn. by 1949
Inscription(s):Painted on the back of the original canvas ca. 1845, at the time a duplicate portrait of Ezra Weston, Sr., was made, is: "Ezra Weston/ son of Ezra & Salumith/Born Novr 30, 1772--/Died Augst 15th 1842--/Mard/June 2, 1793/Jerusha Bradford."