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Mary (Jones) Keating Broughton

Roberts, Mary
Place Made:
Charleston South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
watercolor on ivory
HOA 1 3/16″; WOA 1″
Accession Number:
SITTER: The Jones and Keating surnames on the paper label attached to the back of the miniature suggest that the sitter is Mary Jones Keating Broughton (1726-1815). The daughter of Samuel Jones (d. 1736) and Mary Odingsell, she was first married to Maurice Keating (d. 1749) and later to Alexander Broughton (d. 1764) of Kiblesworth plantation in St. Johns Berkeley Parish. Mary and her daughter, Charlotte Broughton (1756-1828), are buried at St. James Goose Creek Church.

The miniature was probably painted around the time of her first marriage to Maurice Keating at St. Philip’s Church on November 19, 1745. Portraits of Mary and her second husband, Alexander Broughton, were painted by Jeremiah Theus. Several portraits of her family by Theus survive in museum collections. These include mother Mary Odingsell Jones Simmons at The Charleston Museum; brother Samuel Jones at Colonial Williamsburg (CW acc. 2010-25); son Maurice Keating and daughter Mary Broughton Motte at the Gibbes Museum of Art (GM acc. 1957.013.0007, 1986.012); and son-in-law Isaac Motte (NGA acc. 1947.17.12) at the National Gallery of Art.

ARTIST: Mary Roberts (d. 1761) was the wife of Charleston’s early 18th century British-born artist, Bishop Roberts (d. 1739), and the first professional miniature painter in America. In 1740, she advertised in The South Carolina Gazette, “Face Painting well performed by the said Mary Roberts, who has several Pictures and a Printing Press to dispose of.”

DESCRIPTION: Miniature, watercolor portrait on ivory; oval shaped ivory mounted in the original gold bracelet clasp frame. The young lady, facing left, is wearing a white gown trimmed in heavy white lace, her dark hair pulled back; having blue eyes and red lips. The background consist of graduated hues of black and gray. The miniature is signed in the background, lower left, “MR”, for Mary Roberts. The reverse has an old label attached which may say “Mrs. J. Jones / or Miss Keating.”

Credit Line:
Gift of Davida Deutsch in memory of Frank L. Horton