Provenance of the Anthony W. Jones bas relief sculpture

Family history of "The Game of Life" bas relief sculpture

Provenance for this piece stems directly from the sculptor Anthony W. Jones. He was born on May 15, 1792 a little more than three years after George Washington’s April 1789 first inauguration as President of the United States. His first wife Jane Martha Dominick (Jane Martha Jones after marriage) died on September 18, 1831.  In June of 1832 Jones married our great, great grandmother Antoinette Douglas the daughter of John Hancock Douglas and Elizabeth Williams. The Douglas family bible in our possession records Antoinette’s birth on March 29, 1811 and that conforms to the 1860 Federal U.S. Census document found at ancestry.com which properly lists Antoinette’s age in 1860 as 49. 

The bas relief sculpture of the scene from Retzsch’s famous painting as well as several other portrait bas relief sculptures (including an extraordinary one of George Washington) came down through the family from the artist’s youngest daughter Sarah J. Jones born in New York City at 10:58 PM on December 19, 1843 according to an entry in the family bible. Sarah was married to our great grandfather Dr. Matthew Bonner Flinn by Francis P. Walker, Pastor of The Beulah Baptist church on Wednesday, October 14, 1868.

One of Matthew and Sarah’s three sons, Frederick Bonner Flinn, was our grandfather. All of the artist’s bas relief works were inherited through Frederick’s youngest daughter, our mother Jean Douglas Flinn.

"The Game of Life” bas relief sculpture is not dated. It was most likely created and cast by Jones sometime in the mid 19th Century probably sometime near or soon after  the death of the painter Moritz Retzsch.

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