I just ran across this ebay listing, and I have to say that I like the way the seller gives details about condition issues and makes an attribution. The seller not only gives the reasons for the attribution, but cautions potential buyers that he/she is not an expert in this field. The most correct listing would have said that in the seller’s opinion, the piece is by Sarah Goodridge instead of calling it an attribution. An attribution should only be made by an expert in the field. Still, it is one of the most honest, cautionary listings I’ve ever seen on ebay. I applaud the seller! This is how the listing reads:
“This is a nice example of American portrait miniature painting, measuring 3 7/8” x 2 7/8” or 9.8 x 7.3 cm. The portrait itself was well done, featuring fine workmanship and well executed form. The rest, unfortunately, is a lesson in how not to treat a miniature. Someone removed the original backing, obliterating any chance of a signature. Then someone glued it down to a card, badly, and exposed it to sun light. It needs a loving home!
That said, a friend of mine says he is always amused by my attributions, so I will now try to amuse you too. If you look at Sarah Goodridge’s portrait of Daniel Webster at MHS, you will see that this miniature has the same positioning on the field, the same general position, etc. Of course the background is different. Now if you look at the portrait of Edward Blake Parkman at the MMA you will see the same background, shadowing, and even brush strokes. The coloring that has not been bleached out by the sun looks the same to me. Even the size is the same. Unfortunately the skin coloring is lost to compare, and what is going on with the tie is beyond me. I am reasonably certain that nothing can be done to restore this miniature. So while I am convinced it is a Sarah Goodridge, I am starting it at a very cheap price. I will also remind those who don’t know me, that while I have collected miniatures for 40 years, I am an absolute amateur, my field is silver.”
The bolding is emphasis added by me. If you want to look at the listing, it can currently be found at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-American-Portrait-Miniature-of-Gentleman-c-1825-by-Sarah-Goodridge-/121106317471?pt=Art_Paintings&hash=item1c327fc09f#ht_1511wt_1145. Bravo seller labarbe for a well-written listing. That said, I don’t know this seller and this posting is not intended as an endorsement of this particular item or of this seller.