Court seeks help to identify mystery justice

Mystery judge in Supreme Judicial Court

You run one of the oldest courts in North America, you go through a lot of judges. Outside the office of Ralph Gants, current chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, hangs this portrait of a former justice. Only problem is: Nobody knows who he is.

The court is asking for help to identify the justice, who may have sat between 1780 and 1820. Anybody who can provide his provenance will get to hang with Justice Gants, first as he hangs a plaque identifying the former justices and then for an exclusive private tour of the John Adams Courthouse.

Court officials say they've been trying to ID Mystery Justice since at least 2005, when the John Adams Courthouse re-opened after extensive renovations and they began to hang all the portraits that had sat in storage during the work.

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You sure?

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Looks like Judge Smails to me.

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Mr Norrell Without the Wig

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IMAGE(https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/480xn/p02pwmps.jpg)

He was the smart but jerky guy who allowed the fairy king to imprison the lord's wife all so that he could look good and win the lord's approval.

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Who is the artist

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What is the artistpianters signature.. that information would help a lot

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He looks very English

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But I suppose that a lot of people in late 18th Century Massachusetts did.

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Mysterious Justice of the SJC

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My guess is Daniel Dewey, who served all of one year on the court (1814-1815). While there is no readily available picture of Samuel S. Wilde, his tenure however from 1815-1850 would have given him sufficient notoriety, as compared with the relative anonymity of Dewey. Simeon Strong (served in SJC 1800-1805) too seems not to have a readily available portrait; however his house in Amherst, Mass. surely would have a portrait of his hanging somewhere (verifiable). Another one is Charles Jackson ( served on the bench from 1813-1824), whose tenure would have made him better known and pictured than Dewey. Guive Mirfendereski, Newton, mass. (617) 964-5252

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