This image of Maj. Samuel Eells (1639-1709) is what is known as a “wedding portrait”, common among the wealthy during the 18th century. This example was sent by Samuel to the parents of his bride-to-be, Anna Lenthall. It was to show them what kind of man he was in an effort to gain their blessing to marry their daughter. There are messages in the painting which provide that information. The sword showed that Samuel was a military officer. The books showed that he was educated and the type of clothing being worn indicated that he was well off financially. Upon receiving the portrait, Anna’s parents gave Samuel their blessing to marry her. The wedding occurred August 1, 1663 in Milford, CT.