Sketch of an Elderly Quaker, 1770

PD2000033 Sketch of an elderly Quaker Possibly William Williams (or his circle), Pennsylvania. Inscribed “Taken from the life, June 9th [17]70.” Height 8”, width 6 1/2”; height 1/2”, width 12” (frame)  Pen and ink on laid paper


This quick but confident sketch captures an elderly Quaker, bowed with age and standing with the aid of a walking stick, his “tricorn” hat tucked beneath his left arm. He has been rendered in a few deft stokes of the artist’s pen. The paper is inscribed “Taken from the life, June 9th [17]70.”

The image has certain characteristics in common with artist William Williams ’ circa 1755 portrait of the eccentric Quaker abolitionist Benjamin Lay (1682-1759). That portrait is now in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Unframed view of the sketch

The laid paper does not bear a watermark.


This pen and ink drawing was cleaned by conservator Lisa Ashburn of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The lower edge, which suffered from exposure and was frayed, has been consolidated and patched from behind with non-acidic paper similar in appearance and structure to the original.

The Hogarth style frame is a twentieth century reproduction of an eighteenth century original and was made by Timothy Killalea of South Royal Studios in Alexandria, Virginia.

PRICE: $1950.00