November 10, 2021 11:00 EST

American Furniture, Folk and Decorative Arts

 
  Lot 2
 

2

Letter to First Pennsylvania Governor Thomas Mifflin (1744-1800) regarding Militia Flag designs
Francis Rabineau (active 1791-1804), Brunswick (New Jersey), February 9th, 1796

In the letter to "To his Excellency Governor Mifflin of the State of Pennsylvania Philadelphia" Robineau offers his services as a painter of Standards and Colors to the Militia of Pennsylvania writing: "Having been appointed by the in Chief and Genl Officers of the State of New Jersey, to paint and complete the different Standards & Colors for the Redg.s Battalions & Squadrons of the same, according to a Law past (sic) by the Legislature, have how finished them and I believe to the Satisfaction of the Officers. I take the liberty to write to his Excellency as the New Militia Law is going to take place in the State of Pennsylvania & should it be similar to the one past in this. I should humbly beg to come under the patronage of the Governor, to his employd in executing the Said Colours & Standards.

I beg leave to make some Observations, the Painting on Silk requires a great deal of caution for more than any other painting and must be differently treated & handling the same,consequently requires Patience. I flatter myself therefore by having been employed a considerable time in said work that I should give general satisfaction to the Governor and the rest of the Officers, better perhaps than some other person that has not had that opportunity. I should also be albe to do the work on lower terms and ina a more Uniform and Miltary manner, should his Excellency think proper to answer my letter on this subject will return it as a great favor. I am his Excellency's most humble and Obt Serv. Frances Rabineau," ink on laid paper.

19 1/4 in. x 6 1/4 in.

Provenance

Collection of Jeffrey Kenneth Kohn, MD.

Sold for $2,520
Estimated at $2,000 - $3,000


 

In the letter to "To his Excellency Governor Mifflin of the State of Pennsylvania Philadelphia" Robineau offers his services as a painter of Standards and Colors to the Militia of Pennsylvania writing: "Having been appointed by the in Chief and Genl Officers of the State of New Jersey, to paint and complete the different Standards & Colors for the Redg.s Battalions & Squadrons of the same, according to a Law past (sic) by the Legislature, have how finished them and I believe to the Satisfaction of the Officers. I take the liberty to write to his Excellency as the New Militia Law is going to take place in the State of Pennsylvania & should it be similar to the one past in this. I should humbly beg to come under the patronage of the Governor, to his employd in executing the Said Colours & Standards.

I beg leave to make some Observations, the Painting on Silk requires a great deal of caution for more than any other painting and must be differently treated & handling the same,consequently requires Patience. I flatter myself therefore by having been employed a considerable time in said work that I should give general satisfaction to the Governor and the rest of the Officers, better perhaps than some other person that has not had that opportunity. I should also be albe to do the work on lower terms and ina a more Uniform and Miltary manner, should his Excellency think proper to answer my letter on this subject will return it as a great favor. I am his Excellency's most humble and Obt Serv. Frances Rabineau," ink on laid paper.

19 1/4 in. x 6 1/4 in.

Provenance

Collection of Jeffrey Kenneth Kohn, MD.

Note

Francis Rabineau advertised primarily as a portrait miniaturist in watercolor and crayon, but is known to have painted military colors for New Jersey and New York. Recorded to have been a "colorful character," a dandy in dress, a bigamist and a rogue, Rabineau moved frequently working In London, Boston, New Brunswick, New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Virginia, North Carolina, and New Orleans. Neil Jeffares', in Dictionary of Pastellists before 1800 (2006), notes that in 1799 "Rabineau was engaged to furnish colours to the Hunterdon militia in Philadelphia, but had absconded without completing the job." Rabineu spent the first years of the American War of Independence in Canada but returned to New York, then occupied by the British to paint Loyalists and British officers.

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