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Paintings by Robert Ball Hughes

Looking West
by Robert Ball Hughes
AskART.com The Artists' Bluebook

 Robert Ball Hughes reportedly painted seascapes. See Seashore Boys with Crab & Dog for another.

   Presentation Portrait of a Dog to Pewterer Roswell Gleason (1799-1877) of Dorchester Massachusetts
by Robert Ball Hughes, 1858
from Skinner, Inc.

"Sale 2397 - Lot 340
Presentation Portrait of a Dog to Pewterer Roswell Gleason (1799-1877) of Dorchester Massachusetts.
Unsigned, the reverse inscribed "Dorchester 19 June '58 Presented to R. Gleason by Ball Hughes as a slight mark of his heartfelt gratitude for his kind loan of Poor Charley." (signed) "B.H." Watercolor on card, showing a dog seated beside a road sign reading "Five Miles to Boston," 6 3/4 x 4 5/8 in., in a gold-painted wood frame. Condition: Minor toning.

Estimate $500-700
Sold for $830" (Feb 2008)

    According to independent scholar, Catherine Lanford Joy, who is doing research into the life and work of Roswell Gleason who ran a significant Britannia and silverplate manufactory on Washington Street during the time that Ball Hughes lived down the street:

“There is a Gleason family story that Ball Hughes did a model of the Gleason family dog which was then used for finials on Gleason's silverplated wares.  It is true that dog finials appear on Gleason teawares and butter dishes.  There is another family story that Georgina Hughes painted the Gleason house (known as "Lilacs") in the late 19th century after it experienced a fire (after which it was moved to Claybourne Street and expanded). Gleason's house was taken down after a second fire in the early 1980s.  Two rooms from it are about to installed as period rooms in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.”

    See the Roswell Gleason and Made in Dorchester: Roswell Gleason, Pewter and Silverplate Manufacturer articles by the Dorchester Atheneum for more information about Ball Hughes neighbor.

    A similar sketch of the same dog is shown below without the writing "Five miles to Boston" on the stone road sign.  It may have been a preliminary version. See Sunnyside for a photo of Sunnyside that shows the milestone at the corner of School and Washington Streets.


Portrait of a Dog
Courtesy of Frederick R. Brown III

See Portrait of a Small Dog for another painting of a dog by Robert Ball Hughes.

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last update 9/4/2012

For noncommercial use, Copyright David E. Brown 2008-2012
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