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Ames, Mrs (McKechnie Section 3)

See also Section Two

Recorded by Jackson (Dictionary) in two entries, in both of which she combines information about Mrs Ames and Miss Ames (see Section Two); also by Foskett (although there seems to be no firm evidence that Mrs Ames painted portrait miniatures in colour). Miss Ames states on her trade label, in the Banks Collection at the British Museum, that she charged 2s for her profiles (probably on paper or card, in view of this low price). Mrs Ames may have done likewise, since she quoted prices ranging from 2s to 5s in an advertisement in Aris' Birmingham Gazette

(19 September 1785):

Birmingham, September 19, 1785.

Mrs. AMES, begs Leave to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of Birmingham, and its Neighbourhood, that she takes PROFILE LIKENESSES of any Size, in the most elegant Taste, from 2s. to 5s each, and if not the most striking Likeness, no Gratuity is required ⎯ Likenesses painted on Glass in the most correct manner at 5s. each ⎯ Attendance from nine o'clock in the Morning till one, and from two in the Afternoon till eight in the Evening, at No. 60, Bull Street.

As the artist gives a specific price for glass profiles, we certainly know that she painted on glass. The phrase 'of any Size' may indicate that she offered full-length as well as bust-length work.

I have not seen an example of Mrs Ames's work, but Mayne comments that her work was 'sound, without being exceptional.' Although Mayne, like Jackson, confuses Mrs Ames and Miss Ames, it seems likely that he was referring to the former, since he indicates that she was a painter of bust portraits on glass.