We are delighted to introduce this recently discovered portrait of Phebe Webster attributed to RW and SA Shute. She is identified in the upper right as “Phebe Webster Born October 20th 1810”. This watercolor on paper measures 20 5/8” x 16 5/8”. Phebe was born in Derryfield, now Manchester, NH, where she lived most of her life except for a period in nearby Boston with her husband, William Dickey. She passed away at the age of 79.
The crisp delineation and somber brown dress are highlighted with a blue ribbon and waist band and the red book held in her right hand, a classic Shute trademark. Given her youthful appearance and resemblance to portraits painted early in the Shutes’ career she most likely dates 1828-30. It is always exciting to come across a work of this quality that has not yet been introduced to the collecting community.