Miniature on ivory of an unidentified man with arms folded, wearing a dark coat, vest, tie, and a decorative pin in the center of his white shirt. Piece is housed in an oval wood frame, circa 1850.
Elias Alexander Vogler (1825-1878), son of silversmith John Vogler, was a talented artist himself. Elias was born in Salem but traveled to Nazareth, Pennsylvania, at the age of fourteen to study at the prestigious Moravian boys’ school, Nazareth Hall. There he perfected his drawing and painting skills. It was in Pennsylvania that he learned the art of miniature painting.
Once he returned to Salem, Elias worked at various times as a silversmith, architect, sign painter, cartographer, and he owned a retail shop. The miniatures he painted survive as a testament to his skill at capturing likenesses.
Although we do not know exactly who taught Elias Vogler the art of miniature painting, in a letter written by Francis Shober from Salem to his brother Charkes Shober (in Bethlehem,PA), Francis writes, “Louisa is getting taken in a different way (painted) by Elias Vogler who learned it under a certain person who was here.” (March 1, 1844, letter filed with Shober Papers)