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Maker(s):Faber, John
Culture:English (1695-1756)
Title:print: Governor Jonathan Belcher
Date Made:1734
Materials:paper, ink
Place Made:United Kingdom; England; London
Measurements:overall: 16 in x 10 3/8 in; 40.64 cm x 26.3652 cm
Accession Number:  HD 1057
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Mezzotint of Jonathan Belcher (1682-1757), Governor of Massachusetts from 1730 to 1741and New Jersey from 1747-1757, by the London printmaker John Faber, Jr. (1695-1756). The print is titled" "His Excellency Jonathan Belcher Esq. / Captain General & Governor in Chief of His Majesty's Provinces of / Massachuset's Bay & New Hampshire in New England and / Vice Admiral of the Same." Belcher's "claimed" family coat-of-arms (since he came from a Massachusetts native and son of Thomas Belcher, a prosperous merchant and member of the Massachusetts Council with no aristocratic pedigree or genealogical tie to the first leaders of Massachusetts) appears in the middle of the title. The print was based on a half-length portrait painted by the Irish artist Richard Philips (1681-1741), probably painted during Belcher's 1729-1730 London trip before his installation as royal governor of Massachusetts. Although as a Massachusetts governor, Belcher might have been expected to have his portrait painted, Belcher was dismayed when his son, who was then a student in London, hired Faber to engrave the mezzotint that was published in London in 1734, which Belcher Sr. was concerned would likely bring criticism and jealousy. The portrait shows Belcher as a model of aristocratic gentility and state authority, holdng his government commission as if a royal scepter and the Boston harbor in the background with a British naval ship firing its cannon in salute. Belcher is wearing a long periwig with lavish curls, a velvet waistcoat with gold brocade, and a fine lace jabot. In the lower-right corner, the seal of King George II seems suspended from the hand holding the commission.


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