William Smith Jewett (1812-1873) Gold Rush Portrait Paintings of Mr. and Mrs. William Ralston

Pair of gilt framed William Smith Jewett (1812-1873) Gold Rush oil on canvas portraits of Mr. and Mrs. William Ralston. Her portrait signed verso, “W. S. Jewett / 1850”. His portrait faintly stamped stretcher bars verso, "Jones......& Sutherland / Picture Store / ..1.. Montgomery St." Dimensions: 30"h x 25"w; (overall) 45"h x 38"w. William Smith Jewett, born in New York, was a well known portrait painter. In 1849, inspired by the Gold Rush, he moved to California to take up mining and to take advantage of the nouveau riche as portrait subjects. He settled in San Francisco but had little luck at gold mining. He then focused on painting portraits of California's prominent citizens and gained the distinction of being the first professionally trained painter to live and work in San Francisco.  William Ralston was a prominent Gold Rush banker and investor. Together with Darius Ogden Mills, he opened the Bank of California. The bank financed many of the mines in Northern CA and Nevada and when the mines could not pay their debt, his bank took control of the mines (including the Comstock Lode). He lived in an 80 room mansion in Belmont and commissioned the building of the Palace Hotel. Crated shipment. Please contact https://www.packshippros.com/pack-ship-pros-quote.

Provenance:Warren Olney (1842-1928), Oakland, CA, then by direct family descent.


Very good estate found condition with no prior conservation or restoration. Please see photos.

Estimate: $1,000 - $2,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


Have a Similar Item?

Consign With Us

Witherell strives to provide as much information and photographs as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Condition statements are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Witherell. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms and Conditions. Methods of payment are cash, check, money orders, or wire transfer for foreign payments. Please note we do not accept credit cards. This auction has a buyer's premium of 15%.