Otis House

Foster Family Coat of Arms

This coat of arms depicts the heraldry of Sally Otis’s family, the Fosters. Yet the most interesting feature of the coat of arms appears on its back, out of sight of the viewer. A penciled inscription on the reverse side of the piece reads, “Executed for Harrison Gray Otis in England, circa 1790.” As Harrison Gray Otis and Sally Foster were married in 1790, one may assume that Otis ordered the arms as a wedding gift for Sally, perhaps to emphasize the importance of her familial ties.

England, c. 1790

Oil on mahogany panel, giltwood and gesso wood frame