19th century oil on canvas equine portrait, unsigned, the subject of which is believed to be the horse known as Canada Chief or Hall's Black Hawk. The dark brown horse with black mane and small white blaze on its forehead is depicted in profile against a landscape with trees and hills in the background. Old, but probably not original, molded giltwood and composition frame with bead and floral moldings. 12" x 20-3/8" canvas, 17-1/2" x 25-1/2" frame. Provenance: descended in the family of Dr. Joseph M. Anderson of Lebanon, Tennessee (b. 1815 – d. 1896) and by oral tradition, depicts his horse. While Anderson owned several horses, by far the most notable was Canada (Canadian) Chief, also known as Hall's Black Hawk, said to be a descendant of the Morgan Horse Blackburn's Davy Crockett. Bred by a Mr. Connor of Connorsville, Kentucky, the horse was brought to Tennessee about 1855 and owned for a time by J.M. Anderson and Sanford Thompson. He was then sold to Dr. C.T. Bright and William Hall of Sumner County and finally to Confederate General William Bate. He was described as "a very elegant saddle horse, that could either pace or trot in 3:00. " Bright said of him: "In form a model, I have never seen his superior in style, action and docility in harness or under saddle. He was awarded 26 premiums." The horse was shot out from under Bate at the Battle of Shiloh, April 6, 1862, and killed; Bate was also wounded but recovered. (Source: Joseph Battell, THE MORGAN HORSE AND REGISTER). Condition: Painting in need of restoration and overall cleaning, however, aside from a 1/2" puncture with accompanying small area of paint loss to the mane and a 1/16" area of flaking and scratch across the chest, the image of the horse itself is in good condition. The damage to the rest of the painting includes: one 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" L-shaped puncture and one 1/3" puncture outside but near horse's rear legs, 1/3" puncture and scratch outside but near front legs, small hole near but outside tail. All punctures have accompanying paint loss. Several significant areas of flaking and losses down to the canvas level starting on left side and extending on across full lower edge and right corner. General cracquelure. Painting possibly cut down in the late 1800s to fit into this frame.
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