HEADING_CONTACT_US_POPUP_TITLE

HEADING_CONTACT_US_POPUP_SUBTITLE

c1841 Miniature Portrait Daughters of Zébée Ann Rose Touzi
  • c1841 Miniature Portrait Daughters of Zébée Ann Rose Touzi
  • c1841 Miniature Portrait Daughters of Zébée Ann Rose Touzi
  • c1841 Miniature Portrait Daughters of Zébée Ann Rose Touzi
  • c1841 Miniature Portrait Daughters of Zébée Ann Rose Touzi
  • c1841 Miniature Portrait Daughters of Zébée Ann Rose Touzi

c1841 Miniature Portrait Daughters of Zébée Ann Rose Touzi

Price:

£700.00


Product Description

A beautiful 1841 miniature portrait of two beautiful girls dressed in white silk gowns.

The two are sisters, with similar faces, but one has long dark hair in ringlets and brown eyes, whilst the other is ash blonde with straight hair and blue eyes. They are Charlotte Frederica Zébée Gordon and Zébée Stewart Gordon at ages 16 and 15, respectively. They are the daughters of Major General Alexander Gordon and Zébée Ann Rose Touzi. The highly detailed portraits are the work of a lesser known female artist Catherine Gray, who has signed it on the side. It is mounted and glazed in an early Victorian gilded frame, decorated with bunches of grapes and vine leaves. On the back of the painting, are some details of the painting with the provenance. It reads: ‘The Property of Ada Alexandra Gask, granddaughter of Zébée Gordon bequeathed it to her, on the death of my aunt Helen Symonds Dobree Bell, granddaughter of Zébée Gordon. May 1947’.

Zébée Ann Rose Touzi and her twin, Lucinde, were born on the island of San Domingo (now Haiti) in 1798. Their father, François Touzi, was a French Protestant who married Anne Careaud. At six years old the twins were sent to school in Baltimore when they were so young that they had to learn to read and write so they could keep in touch with their mother. She died of cancer four years later. In 1809 the British and Spanish were besieging the French garrison at San Domingo. François Touzi, desperately scavenging for food outside the city walls one night, was shot by the Spanish, leaving seven children under 16, one of them blind, to fend for themselves in a starving city under bombardment from the British fleet. Lucinde wrote her story in a private publication called ‘Les Jumelles’ in 1822.

She describes selling what remained of their mothers pretty belongings from linens to porcelain. The house opposite was demolished by cannon fire and they ate cats, dogs and donkeys, even boiling their leather suitcases to make a meat broth. The only son, Theodore aged seven, was bold enough to ask the General in the castle for help and came back with two servants carrying sacks of food. It did not last long however and eventually Lucinde, who was apparently the most attractive of the sisters, ran away to be ‘adopted’ by Madame Valette, a woman of colour who lived, unmarried, with a white man. Mme Valette secured a passage on an open boat for the dangerous crossing to Curaçao. It was intercepted by a British sloop. Captain Thomas Symonds was absolutely astounded to see a small white girl standing up amongst 70 ‘people of colour’ and praying aloud in French. He immediately transferred her onto his ship HMS Tweed. Eventually, when the siege was finally successful, Capt Symonds and Lucinde rescued Zébée, who was very emaciated. They were adopted by Captain Symonds and brought back to Lymington where they lived with his aunt at Newlands Manor and were educated at Stanwell House. The rest of the children were left behind and the twins never saw them again.

When they came of age at 16 (1815), Lucinde and Thomas Symonds married. On the 6th August 1822, Zébée married Major General Alexander Gordon (1794–1863), the illegitimate son of the Alexander Gordon, Fourth Duke of Gordon. Zébée Stewart Gordon (1826-1901) and Charlotte Frederica Zébée Gordon (1825-1917). Records show that Zébée Ann Rose Touzi’s granddaughter, Helen Symonds Dobree Bell, died in May 1947.

Fine painting of historical importance.

Size image: 15 x 19 cm (6 x 7 ½ inches)
Size frame: 22 x 32.5 x 4.5 cm (8 5/8 x 12 ¾ x 1 ¾ inches)
Weight: 628 g

Shipping

  • Shipping Weight: 1.9kgs
  • Worldwide shipping costs can be estimated by adding the item to your basket and clicking the Shipping Estimator.