Oil paintings, Fine art

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Mrs Mary Ann Blessley

Oil paintings

Object connections:

Collection Oil paintings, Fine art
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: Blessley, Penelope19C

Object details:

Object ID BHC2561
Description Portrait of Mrs Mary Ann Blessley, shown half-length slightly to the left in a black silk dress with a lace bodice and wrist ruffles, and a flowered lace cap. Around her neck are red and white brocaded bands fastened with a gold brooch and her right hand holds a quizzing glass which is suspended on a gold chain also round her neck. The portrait was presented by a Mrs Gibbs in 1949 as 'Mrs Penelope Blessley' with one of the sitter's husband, William Blessley, master shipwright, of slightly earlier date (BHC2560). This one bears the signature 'Laken' but nothing further is known of this artist, presumably a provincial one in either the Plymouth or Portsmouth areas given that these were where William Blessley worked in middle to later life. In November 2015 a descendant in the Blessley/Pine family produced information that William Blessley's wife was in fact named Mary Ann (nee Pine). She appears to have married William Blessley at St Mary's, Portsea Hants, on 14 April 1814. The same source stated that she died in 1879 but a William Blessley - widower- aged 80, a 'Superannuated Officer of Portsmouth Dockyard' appears as a lodger at 23 King's Terrace, Portsea, in the 1871 census, which shows she died earlier. In February 2016, another descendant contacted the Museum to say that Mary Ann and William appear as living in Chatham in the 1851 census, that Mary Ann died on 27July 1859, and her husband William on 15 November 1876. A surviving family photograph of her also confirms the identity of this portrait. It is likely that the donor of this and BHC2560 was a descendant in the Pine family.
Date made 1855

Artist/Maker Laken
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials oil on canvas on board
Measurements Painting: 756 x 608 x 11 mm
  • Mrs Mary Ann Blessley (BHC2561)
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