Date: 1831

Location: New England, Worcester County, Hardwick, Massachusetts

Artist: John Ritto Penniman

Materials: Oil on board

Measurements: H: 21" W: 18"

Oil on board portrait depicting cabinetmaker Tilly Mead (1794-1849), painted by John Ritto Penniman in April 1831 in Hardwick, Massachusetts. Mead was 37 years of age when the portrait was done. Tilly Mead was born in nearby Petersham, Massachusetts in 1794. A cabinetmaker, Mead worked in Hardwick, Massachusetts and his estate inventory shows “unfinished furniture, a veneering plane, a turning lathe, a shop stove and pipe, and furniture patterns.” In the portrait, Mead is depicted in front of a tambour style desk and bookcase, possible of his own design and construction.

A paper label on the reverse reads: “This portrait represents Mr. Tilly Mead Born in Petersham, Massachusetts, June 25th 1794. Painted in Hardwick April 1831 By John R Penniman. T.M. was 37 years of age when this picture was taken.”

Collection of Vernon Stoneman, 1959; to Bernard & S. Dean Levy, Inc., New York; to Private Collection; to Bernard & S. Dean Levy, Inc., 2016; to Old Sturbridge Village.

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