I happened upon this portrait in the show room at Sotheby's earlier this week and had to laugh. As you already know, over the years I've seen many portraits of children from the early and mid-1800s posed with family pets. Most of them are dogs or cats, with the occasional bird. This child, however, appears to have had a favorite lamb. It's hard to imagine mother letting that thing in the house, especially at meal time.
As always, a good week in New York looking at curious and amazing things. There's more on the way. In the meantime, enjoy this unusual piece. It's a pity that it didn't come with any history, but the image often tells enough of a story anyway.