American Paintings and Sculpture
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext2 of 2
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Artist: Unknown

George Washington (1732–1799), LL.D. 1781


Ink on paper enclosed in gold breast pin with 12 diamonds set in silver mounts, gold and silver foliate stem set with 2 diamonds; linked with gold chain to silver and gold stickpin with pearl head

guard pin: 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm)
chain: 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm)
sight in frame: 1 × 9/16 in. (2.5 × 1.4 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ezra P. Prentice, Jr.

Miniatures of George Washington recall jewels of allegiance to the monarch worn in Europe, especially in England during the Elizabethan and Stuart periods. Following in the tradition of a king rewarding a loyal subject, Washington is said to have given this tiny ink portrait, set in a gold-and-diamond floral breast pin, to the artist John Trumbull, his former aide-de-camp, in gratitude for his military and artistic service. The exchange between Washington and Trumbull must have taken place in the last years of Washington’s life, as the portrait derives from one of the enormously popular oil portraits painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796.

Made in United States
Not on view
18th century
Miniatures - Jewelry
Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.