Henry Benbridge (American, 17431812)
Watercolor on ivory; 1 7/16 x 1 3/16 in. (3.7 x 3 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1926 (26.286)
The sitter was born in 1746 in Charleston, South Carolina, the daughter of Peter and Anna Timothy. She married Peter Valton in 1767, with whom she had two children; after Valton's death, she married the planter William Williamson in 1785, the approximate date of her miniature, which could very well have been painted as a betrothal portrait. Benbridge was Charleston's finest portraitist, in both miniature and oil on canvas, and this portrait is indicative of his finest work. The Williamsons are said to have sold their South Carolina properties soon after their marriage and moved to England.