07 October 2007

Major Biddle and his wife

Update: not Major Biddle and his wife Eliza.
Major Biddle and a seemingly unrelated Sweedish opera singer named Jennie Lind.

This is Major Biddle and his wife Eliza.

They came from my grandmother's house. Just like about 80% of the things in my house. I don't really know anything about them, except that they are just art prints, made to look like an oil painting with little swirls all over the surface. I wouldn't even know who they were if it weren't for the "Major Biddle" stamp on the back of his picture. There is nothing stamped on the back of her picture, but I found her name and the artist Thomas Sully after a bit of googling.

Anyone out there know more about the Major and his wife?


Nora said...

I live in Pittsburgh and we have a Biddle Ave here. So, I did a searching for Major Biddle. I found the following; http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0161-391X(195709)44%3A2%3C350%3ATJOCJR%3E2.0.CO%3B2-7
http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/dam/rg/ys/r12ys9.htm - many Biddle’s - General Biddle/Major Biddle
Also, check out the land records on the University of Pittsburgh's website: http://digital.library.pitt.edu/pittsburgh/

good luck.

Nora said...

One more possibility - Samuel and Eliza Biddle - Allegeny City 1850 census record.
Let me know if this helps.

Anonymous said...

I found the identical oval framed art print of Major Biddle done in a fake shiny brush stroke texture at a church sale in Montreal, same frame. When were these produced does anyone know? Judy

Oliver's Bungalow said...

Judy, mine too have that fake brush stroke swirly thing going on. All I know about them is that they were on the wall of my grandmother's living room my whole life. Most of her furniture was purchased at the same time (must be nice), after she was married. I figure these were the sort of thing she might have gotten at the same time. Late 1940s, early 1950s? They are lightweight, so I don't think they are very old, but I just don't know enough (much at all, really) about art prints to gague a date. Who knows, she may have picked them up somewhere much later. And who knows if they were new or old then.


We have the same two prints, one of Major Biddle and the other is not infact his wife but swedish opera singer Jennie Lind.

Anonymous said...

As unluck would have it for all of us, I have the same two oval prints shown and just uncovered them after buying them at an auction very cheap. I have what none of you might have on the back of yours and that is a sticker from John Wannamakers for a price of 4.99 per print. My gut feeling is there not worth much but, look wonderful. Just wanted to add this to your posts.

Oliver's Bungalow said...

Thanks for sharing that little tidbit, Tony. That totally makes sense. They were probably widely available at Wannamakers. Cool.

valuegoat said...

I believe they are Thomas Sully portrait prints. I have three of them and one is stamped 'Major Biddle', one is stamped 'Jenny Lind' and one is stamped 'artists sister'. These were my parents, married in 1940's, so I suppose they were purchased then. All three are stamped by an art supply in Cincinnati - can't make out anything else. My frames are rectangular. Does anyone know the value of these prints?

Joe said...

I can't say for sure what the price would be on the open market today, but I bought my Major Biddle at an antique store about ten years ago as an anniversary gift for my wife. As I recall it was in the neighborhood of around 5Jackson's :-)
The most amazing thing that caught my eye about the picture, is that he looks to be almost the twin brother of my best friend from childhood! Mike has sadly passed away from brain cancer since then, but in some ways, I get to say heelo every time I step into my foyer. The picture is one of everybody's favorites, and seeing that we are living in a 1920's house, fits right in.

Joe said...

I don't know what the price would be for a Major Biddle on the open market tody, but I bought mine as ananniversary gift for my wife about ten years ago. As I recall,I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 Jackson's for it!
But art being what it is,if you like it, you like it.
And it fits perfectly in the foyer of my 1920 Colonial.