Mary Roberts

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Today I’m writing about someone I would usually pass on however, I found her history fascinating so let’s get to it. It is unknown where Mary Roberts, maiden name unknown, was born or how she wound up in Charleston, South Carolina. She married Bishop who was a portrait, landscape and heraldry painter.

He advertised in the Gazette in 1735 and again two years later offering his services. Bishop died in 1740, which also remains a mystery on the cause of death. Anyway, she advertised she had a printing press for sale during that same year. Again in 1776 she offered that same printing press for sale. It is unknown if she ever sold that press. In 1747, she was willed fifty pounds by a William Watkins. She died in 1761, age unknown and is buried at the St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church Cemetery.

Now what you may not know about Mary is that she is the first recorded woman miniaturist in America. There are only three known miniaturist paintings by her. Those are dated to around 1752-1758. Don’t know about you but, I wish I could find one at one of our local antique shops for a dollar. To the Antique Roadshow I would go and walk away a wealthy man. Until tomorrow keep a smile on your face, should you find one of those miniatures you could actually put two pennies in your pocket

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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray I'm sure there are many people who have possessed some of those old miniatures and have tossed them out not knowing the value...

Feb 09, 2018 04:01 AM #1
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Mary certainly possessed talent. As for me, I wouldn't recognize it in the antique shop for any amount. Enjoy your day!

Feb 09, 2018 04:42 AM #2
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I will have to look up this genre on Google since I am not familiar with it.

Feb 09, 2018 04:56 AM #3
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. Neat story. Yep, keep looking for never know what you will find.

Feb 09, 2018 05:12 AM #4
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I don't know much about art, so I don't follow everything about Mary, but sounds like she was an interesting woman none the less.

Feb 09, 2018 05:20 AM #5
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

Just think if she had used the press and made lots of copies!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Feb 09, 2018 05:30 AM #6
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray - I have seen other such examples and have marveled at the skill it takes. I can see why it would be worth a fortune.

Feb 09, 2018 08:35 AM #7
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


The miniaturists was in vogue for quite a while, and people wore those in a locket.  A

Feb 09, 2018 09:22 AM #8
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi James... I, for one, am very happy you didn't ignore Mary. Why discriminate against a miniaturist? 

Feb 09, 2018 09:24 AM #9
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- I collect different miniatures for dollhouses and am fascinated with all sorts of miniatures. 

Feb 09, 2018 05:40 PM #10
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

See I am a pack rat but Diane is the throw away queen so I would be upset if I found out she threw away a Miniature by Mary Roberts:))Endre

Feb 09, 2018 10:38 PM #11
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

How interesting. I will have to see if I can find a few pictures of her work. Thank you for sharing. 

Feb 10, 2018 04:45 PM #12
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James Dray

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