HARRIET GUILFORD (1861-19530

Cat Seated on a One-Armed Rocker
Probably Alleghany County, New York, 1885
Oil on artist board, 21 x 17 ½ inches, in original gilt frame.
Signed lower right: “H. Guilford / 1884

Combining charm of subject matter, details of setting, and quality of draftsmanship, this is a superb example of an American folk portrait of a cat. The white cat with black spots is seated on a red-draped paint-decorated “Boston-type” rocker. Testament to the artist’s attention to
accuracy is the hole in the back post where the missing left arm would have been attached. The bright yellow eyes, gesturing raised paw, and spot on the nose impart personality and an air of mischief to this beloved family pet. A possible identification for the artist is Harriet Guilford, the daughter of Charles Guilford (1833–1913) and Mary Jane Guilford (1837–1904), born in the town of Cuba, Allegheny County, New York, on March 16, 1861. She married Coy Winthrop Hendryx in 1886, and by 1900, the couple was living in Dowagiac, Cass County, Michigan, where she died in 1953.

Skip to content