Double portrait of Colonel and Mrs. Adams c.1720; Studio of Philip Mercier.
Double portrait of Colonel and Mrs. Adams c.1720; Studio of Philip Mercier.
Double portrait of Colonel and Mrs. Adams c.1720; Studio of Philip Mercier.
Double portrait of Colonel and Mrs. Adams c.1720; Studio of Philip Mercier.
Double portrait of Colonel and Mrs. Adams c.1720; Studio of Philip Mercier.
Double portrait of Colonel and Mrs. Adams c.1720; Studio of Philip Mercier.
Double portrait of Colonel and Mrs. Adams c.1720; Studio of Philip Mercier.

Double portrait of Colonel and Mrs. Adams c.1720; Studio of Philip Mercier.

c. 1720 England

Offered by Roy Precious - Antiques & Fine Art

£10,985 gbp
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Oil on canvas in reproduction 18th c. style gilt frame.
Inscribed, upper right, 'Col.n Sam & Rose Adams'.

A pleasing double portrait of Colonel Samuel Adams and his wife Rose, to whom he offers his snuff box for her to take a pinch. This is most unusual in portraiture.


(Snuff is a product made from ground or pulverised tobacco leaves. It originated in the Americas and was in common use in Europe by the 17th century.
It was generally inhaled or "snuffed" through the nose, usually directly from the fingers.
By the 18th century, snuff had become the tobacco product of choice among the upper classes, both male and female. The taking of snuff helped to distinguish the elite members of society from the common populace, which generally smoked its tobacco.)

Edward Hamlin Adams (1777-1842), a West India merchant and banker, who came from a planting family settled in Barbados since the 17th century, but who ‘made his own fortune from a variety of business ventures, some of a questionable nature’, purchased the Middleton Hall estate from the executors of Sir William Paxton, kt. in 1824. His son Edward (1809-75), changed his name to Abadam, At his death, the estate passed to his daughter Lucy and her husband and then to her sister Adah, widow of J. W. Hughes. Their son, William John Hamlin Hughes, sold the estate in 1919 to Col. W. N. Jones, JP, of Dyffryn, Ammanford. The house was accidentally burnt in 1931 and the ruins demolished in 1954, although some outbuildings survive as part of the National Botanic Garden of Wales, which now occupies the site.

PHILIPPE MERCIER (also known as Philip Mercier; 1689 in Berlin – 18 July 1760 in London) was a French painter and etcher, who lived principally and was active in England. He was born in Berlin of French extraction, the son of a Huguenot tapestry-worker. He studied painting at the Akademie der Wissenschaften of Berlin and later under Antoine Pesne, who had arrived in Berlin in 1710. Later, he travelled in Italy and France before arriving in London—"recommended by the Court at Hannover"—probably in 1716. He married in London in 1719 and lived in Leicester Fields.

He was appointed Principal Painter and librarian to the Prince and Princess of Wales at their independent establishment in Leicester Fields, and while he was in favour he painted various portraits of the royals, and no doubt many of the nobility and gentry. Of the royal portraits, those of the Prince of Wales and of his three sisters, painted in 1728, were all engraved in mezzotint by Jean Pierre Simon, and that of the three elder children of the Prince of Wales by John Faber Junior in 1744.

Mercier became involved in a scandal of sorts and he lost favour. He left London around 1740 and settled in York, where he practiced portrait painting for over ten years, before returning to London in 1751. In 1752, Mercier went to Portugal at the request of several English merchants. He did not long remain there, however, but came back to London, where he died in 1760.
*Edward Abadam, Middleton Hall, Carmarthenshire, thence by descent.
*Sold Christie's 1980.
*American Private Collection.
*With Roy Precious Fine Art.
*Collection of a Fellow of a Cambridge College.

Verso: old inventory number; old Christie's stencil; old handwritten label "Colonel Samuel & Mrs. Adams. P. Mercier. To Christie's York from Vaughn, 102 Westbourne Ave. Hull"
Dimensions
External Height 45.00 inch (114.30 cm)
External Width 51.50 inch (130.81 cm)
Stock Code
8854
Signed/Inscribed
Inscribed, upper right, 'Col.n Sam & Rose Adams'
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