James Brewster Cone  1836–1918

Unidentified artist (possibly Philip Hewins, 1808–1849)
Oil on canvas, c. 1840

Private collection

James Brewster Cone, eldest son of William and Rebecca Cone, graduated from Yale College in 1857, worked for the Hartford Carpet Company, and from 1864 to 1883 manufactured coaches and carriages in New York City.

Although family tradition held that the portrait represented his younger brother, William Allen Cone (1840–1853), the child’s apparent age of about four years and the style of clothing suggest that the boy is James. His long pants and jacket, and the white shirt with a wide frill, were the fashion in the late 1830s.

It is quite likely that Philip Hewins, who painted the portraits of his parents, was the artist, and that the portraits were painted at the same time. The portrait has the same canvas stamp as theirs: “PREPARED BY EDWARD DECHAUX NEW YORK.”