Core Holdings of the Tormey-Holder Collection: Ebenezer Mack
Early American Lady Wearing
Feathers and Jewels in Her Hair
(A Rare Early Example of the Artist's Work)
by Ebenezer Mack (1755-1826)
1 1/4 x 1 11/16 inches (sight)
watercolor on ivory; housed in a gilt metal pendant frame
About the Artist: Ebenezer Mack was born on September 23, 1755, in Hebron, Connecticut, a great grandson of Scottish immigrant John Mack (1653-1721). He served in the Revolutionary War, having enlisted in the Connecticut militia in May 1775, at the age of 19. Assigned to Capt. John Watson's company, in the 4th Connecticut Regiment, under command of Col. Benjamin Hinman. Took part in the invasion of British Quebec, where he was captured near Montreal, in September 1775, along with Col. Ethan Allen and 32 other men. Held by the British as a prisoner of war for 14 months, being transported between Quebec, England, Ireland, North Carolina, Halifax, and New York City. Ultimately escaped in April 1777, and returned home to Norfolk, Connecticut. Thereafter, he appeared first as an artist in 1780, in Boston, where he was recorded living with fellow miniature portrait painter Joseph Dunckerley. He was next recorded in Philadelphia where, from 1784-1789, he advertised regularly as a miniature painter. He then relocated to New York City, living near the family of his brother, Daniel Mack, Jr. (1760-1833). He lived the remainder of his life in New York City, working first as a miniature painter from 1790-1808, and thereafter, from 1809-1826, as a physician. He was also a published author, having penned Anatomy in Rhyme and The Cat-Fight: a Mock Heroic Poem. Died in New York City on July 26, 1826. Listed by Barratt and Zabar (page 62) and Blättel (pages 600, 601).