Painted by Robert Feke in 1750
Two generations of men named Joseph Whipple served as Deputy Governors of Rhode Island during America's colonial period: father Joseph Jr. (1687-1750) and son Joseph III (1725-61). They served 1743-46 and 1749-54 respectively.
Auctioned for $25,000 by Sotheby's on 28 January 1990 (Lot 1302: Sale 5968), the above portrait is erroneously listed in the auction catalog as a painting of the older Joseph Jr., who assumed the office of Deputy Governor at age 56. The man in the painting is much younger--in his mid to late 20s--and is thus unmistakably the younger Joseph III.
The auction catalog states that "he and his wife were Quakers, despite the fact that most other members of his family were Anglicans. Whipple's Quaker beliefs possibly account for the absence of a sword with the portrait." (The catalog cites Henry E. Whipple, A Brief Genealogy of the Whipple Families Who Settled in Rhode Island (Providence: A. Crawford Greene, 1873), as its only source.)
Photo and commentary contributed to the Whipple Website by Charles M. Whipple, Jr., 23 July 2003.