Family Record in Watercolor

Home/Works of Art/Family Record in Watercolor



A rare Family Record signed by the artist Justus Dalee (1793-1878) of Cambridge, New York, 1840 – 1845.
Watercolor and ink on paper.
Held in a reproduction molded and black painted frame.

Why is it special? This rare Family Record is signed in the lower right, “J. Dalee, Cambridge”, for Justus Dalee (1793-1878) of Cambridge, New York.  Justus Dalee was part of a large and successful family of artists specializing in miniature portraits painted with watercolor on paper.  Born in Pittstown, New York, he served in the Cambridge, New York Militia during the War of 1812, and began a career as a school teacher.  In 1826, he published a sketchbook titled, “Emblematical Figures, Representations & To Please The Eye”, and identified himself as a professor of penmanship.  He continued to create decorative works of art and began painting miniature portraits in the early 1830s.  Justus Dalee was joined by his son Amon Dalee (1820-1879) and his brother Richard Dalee (1809-1868).

This rare Family Record was created for Charles Wing (b.1790), his first wife, Thankful Briggs (1796-1821), and his second wife, Sarah Waite (b.1792).  It was likely created around 1840, the last date listed in the genealogical information.  Justus was at the peak of his creative career and displays a full range of decorative elements and lettering skills.  Among the precisely rendered stylistic elements are the two full standing figures, bold geometric columns with floral garlands, precisely drawn block letters and fluid calligraphic script. The important Family Record contains the genealogical information for Charles Wing, “Born, June 22, 1790” and Thankful Briggs “Born, January 13, 1796”, who were “Married, March 21, 1813.”  Their children are listed as follows; “Lorenzo P. Wing, Born January 22, 1815”, “Jane Ann Wing, Born January 24, 1817”, “Martha Wing, Born May 24, 1819” and “Thankful Wing, Born June 15, 1821”.  Thankful Briggs Wing is listed as having “Died June 24, 1821.”  Charles Wing is listed as then having been “Married, February 27, 1823” to Sarah Waite, who was “Born September 16, 1792”.  The couple’s first child, “Smith Waite Wing” was “Born December 22, 1823” and “Died June 7, 1840”.  Their second child was “Sarah Maria Wing, Born July 18, 1832.”