Halifax Family Portrait Miniatures
John Dugwell (right), was born in Kent, England, and entered Nova Scotia’s Halifax Shipyards as a master shipwright’s apprentice in 1794. In 1800 he was appointed the shipyard foreman. He is mentioned in the book “Ashore and Afloat: The British Navy and the Halifax Naval Yard Before 1820,” mainly for his exceptional efforts in saving several vessels during the 1813 Halifax hurricane. John Dugwell’s headstone can be found in the Little Dutch Church Cemetery in Halifax.
John Dugwell’s wife, Mary Blackadar, is depicted to his left. At the bottom left is their daughter, Catherine, and next to Catherine is her husband, John Smith, a shipwright. In the center is Catherine and Mary’s son, John Joseph Smith.
These portraits were painted circa 1830. At that time John and Mary would’ve been around 70 years of age, their daughter and her husband around 40, and the grandchild around 10. These portraits are all housed within a mat and frame that is circa 1870. It’s likely each portrait was originally within its own small frame but later combined into a single larger frame sometime in the late 19th century. Dates of birth and death were recorded on the backside of each portrait. Total framed dimensions are approximately 12”x12”, with each portrait measuring 2”x3”. Additional photos included below.