Skip to main content

Thomas Hancock

Thomas Hancock
Usage Conditions Apply
John Singleton Copley, 3 Jul 1738 - 9 Sep 1815
Thomas Hancock, 13 Jul 1703 - 1 Aug 1764
c. 1758
Oil on copper
Sight: 9.5 x 7.6cm (3 3/4 x 3")
Frame: 23.2 x 25.7 x 1.9cm (9 1/8 x 10 1/8 x 3/4")
Thomas Hancock: Male
Thomas Hancock: Business and Finance\Businessperson\Merchant
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution Conserved with funds from the Smithsonian Women's Committee
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Lydia Henchman Hancock 1714–1777
Born Boston, Massachusetts
Thomas Hancock 1703–1764
Born Lexington, Massachusetts
John Singleton Copley painted these pillars of Boston society, aunt and uncle to the patriot John Hancock, near the beginning of his career. Copley trained himself in making paintings “in littel,” as oil-on-copper miniatures were then known; the more fashionable European technique of using watercolor on ivory was not yet well established in the colonies. Copley painted Thomas Hancock first, around 1758. After his death, Hancock’s widow had her portrait done in miniature by Copley. The artist then set his original miniature into a larger, oval piece of copper to match her portrait so that they could be displayed as framed pendants.
The Sitter; his nephew [and adopted son] John Hancock [the signer]; his nephew, John Hancock; his daughter, Mary Lydia Colyer; her niece, Elizabeth Lowell Hancock Wood; her son, Charles Hancock Wood; his brother, William B Wood; his son, Charles H. Wood, Duxbury, Mass.; sold through (Vose Galleries, Boston) 1981 to NPG
Letter from Charles H. Wood, Duxbury Mass., May 26, 1989, to Robert G. Stewart
Offered by Vose Galleries 1976
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery