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John (1766) Brewster (1766 - 1854)

Lot 1199: JOHN BREWSTER JR., 1766-1854


January 17, 2004
New York, NY, US

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unlined; on the original stretchers, in the original mahogany veneered frames. Sarah Treadwell's portrait signed and dated in graphite verso John Brewster Pinxit May 30th 1825; John Perley's indistinctly signed in graphite verso and dated 1825. Old paper labels attached to the stretchers further note General John Perley Born January 5, 1779, Died May 5, 1841, and Sarah Treadwell Perley Born August 26, 1782, Died September 30, 1840. Painted by John Brewster May 20, 1825.



each 30 3/8 in. by 25 1/4 in. 77cm by 64.12cm


oil on canvas


Martin van Buren Perley, History and Genealogy of the Perley Family, Salem, 1906, pp. 122-123


John Perley, 1779-1841

Augustus Perley, his son, 1813-1885

George Putnam Perley, 1858-1929

Helen Perley Cornell, 1894-1987

An anonymous family member, 1987-1988

Christie's, New York, June 4, 1988, Lot 101


When he painted the Perley family in Bridgton, Maine in the summer of 1825, John Brewster Jr. was already considered one of the most talented folk portraitists in the country.

Born in Boxford, Massachusetts in 1749, Enoch Perley was one of the Minuteman who came to Lexington's defense on April 19, 1775. His company routed the British, who fled back to Boston, despite having marched 65 miles to get to Lexington in the first place.

After the Revolution, Enoch moved to Maine and founded the settlement that became Bridgton on land originally settled in 1760 by the Essex County Company. He took much pride in watching over and recording the town's early development in his daybooks and correspondence, which are now on file at the Bridgton Historical Society.

Enoch's son General John Perley was a Brigadier General in the Massachusetts Militia; upon Maine's accession to statehood in 1820, he became a member of the state militia as well. He married Sarah Treadwell, of Littleton, Massachusetts, on November 2, 1805.

All three of these portraits appear in John Perley's 1841 estate inventory, where it was noted that they had hung in the front parlor of his Bridgton house, located directly across the street from that of his father's, which is standing to this day.

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