EXCEPTIONALLY IMPORTANT LATE 19TH CENTURY PASTEL PORTRAIT OF JESSE WOODSON JAMES 1847-1882
With our very highest praise and compliments we are honored to offer you this very rare and absolutely one of a kind late 19th century pastel on paper portrait of Jesse Woodson James September 5, 1847 to April 3, 1882. Undoubtedly the best known American western "outlaw" and iconic image of the west. This has never been offered to anyone but us before this. We obtained it concealed behind a mirror's frame from a very old St. Joseph Missouri estate sent back east for liquidation of its antiques collection. No one but its late owner knew it was there prior to our discovery. We believe it to be a portrait done by an itinerant Missouri artist who viewed his remains after his assassination or from fresh photographic image. We theorize that James meant a great deal to its original owner and its concealment behind the mirror was for his/her's own personal reasons and to protect him/her against reprisals by Jame's numerous enemies in the then Missouri Government. The James family consisting of women & children had been intentionally brutalized by cowardly Union Troops waging war of James. The mirror frame was an exact size to the portrait. That's a bit more then purely coincidence. Countless reproduced photographic images of James exist but this we know from extensive research is an absolutely one of kind piece. The artist captures James in a peaceful respectful manner. Some "experts" have viewed it and believe it to be James prior to his death. We can not prove that so we make no such representation. Should that indeed be the case its value becomes priceless. We have had this portrait re-framed & glassed in a very high framed and restored by our art restorer. At its very top center the very well oxidized 19th century paper was missing a piece measuring approximately 2" X 3/4". Our restorer backed it with a paper he colored to exactly match it. (see photos) We did not want the integrity of the portrait touched in anyway. It has no other stains, foxing or damages. It is in a 21 3/4" X 19 3/4" frame and its sight size is 16" X 14 1/2".