Frederick Chapman (American, active 1777-1788) A full-length silhouette of Colonel Benjamin Hammond (1724-1809), Field Officer for the Middlesex County 1st Regiment of Militia, on horseback,  profile to the right, wearing coat, epaulette, boots, sword and bicorn hat, his pigtail wig tied with a ribbon bow, he holds the reins to his horse in his right hand
Lot 114
Frederick Chapman
(American, active 1780)
A full-length silhouette of Colonel Benjamin Hammond (1724-1809), Field Officer for the Middlesex County 1st Regiment of Militia, on horseback, profile to the right, wearing coat, epaulette, boots, sword and bicorn hat, his pigtail wig tied with a ribbon bow, he holds the reins to his horse in his right hand
Sold for £2,000 (US$ 3,154) inc. premium

Lot Details
Frederick Chapman (American, active 1777-1788)
A full-length silhouette of Colonel Benjamin Hammond (1724-1809), Field Officer for the Middlesex County 1st Regiment of Militia, on horseback, profile to the right, wearing coat, epaulette, boots, sword and bicorn hat, his pigtail wig tied with a ribbon bow, he holds the reins to his horse in his right hand.
Watercolour on paper and bronzed, signed on the obverse F.C 1780 and inscribed Colonel Benjamin Hammond/ Newtown, gilt-wood frame.
Provenance: By family descent
Rectangular, 269mm (10 9/16in) wide

Footnotes

  • Frederick Chapman was a silhouette artist who seems to have specialised in profiles of Revolutionary War soldiers. Surviving pension files from the Revolutionary War, record a Frederick or Frederik Chapman serving with the Connecticut Line, a formation within the Continental Army. The majority of the soldiers he portrayed served in units that originated in New York and New England, although in 1781, Chapman painted a silhouette of Robert Bolling of Petersburg, Virginia. Several of Chapman's silhouettes feature stone walls or fences in watercolour that serve as backdrops to the subject. His best surviving silhouette and arguably one of his most accomplished, portraying Major Hugh Maxwell of Charlemont, Massachusetts on horseback was sold at Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers, Los Angeles, on 20 September 2003 (lot 18) and now forms part of the Historic Deerfield Collection (HD 2003.51.5). Chapman signed this portrait F.C. Harlem/ 1781. As exemplified in the present lot, Chapman usually identified his sitters in the upper right-hand corner of the paper with the sitter's full name, followed by a calligraphic break and the place in which the sitter sat for his silhouette. Maxwell was stationed in New York in 1781 and may have been among the troops encamped in the Harlem area of Manhattan during that year. A further six recorded works by Chapman include a portrait of Josiah Moseley, dated 1788, exhibited at the Taft Museum, Cincinnati; two portraits of a soldier identified as, Sergeant Stephen Horton and his wife, Submit, which were illustrated in a brief article on Chapman, published in American Heritage Magazine (June/July 1979) and three profiles portraying officers, Eli Whitney (West Borough/ 1776), Elijah Taylor, (Northhampton/ 1780) and John Montgomery (Philadelphia/ 1778), sold at Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers on 3 April 2004 (lots 173, 174 and 175 respectively).

    Benjamin Hammond was the fourth of five sons born to Nathaniel Hammond Junior (1678-1749) and Margaret Stone (1688-1776) of Newtown, Massachusetts. On 5 October 1749, Benjamin married Sarah Brown (1727-1800), the daughter of Deacon William Brown of Waltham, Massachusetts and Sarah Bond. The couple had seven surviving children: Ebenezer (b.1750), Sarah (b.1751), Ann (b.1754), Abigail (b.1761), Elizabeth (b.1764), Benjamin (b.1768) and Lucretia (b.1771).

    Numbered amongst the finest militiamen in Middlesex County, Benjamin acted as Selectman between 1767-1776 and served as a Lieutenant-Colonel at the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775 and as Chairman of one of the region's Committees of Safety. When the American Revolutionary conflict broke out, Benjamin was serving as the Captain of the Newtown Company of Militia. By the war's end, Benjamin had been promoted to the rank of Colonel in recognition of his efforts.

    After the death of his wife in 1800, Benjamin travelled to Rutland where he took up permanent residence with his daughter, Abigail and her husband, Deacon Jonas Reed Junior.
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