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James Gay Sawkins (1806–1878) was an artist who was born in 1806 in Yeovil, Somerset, England. At the age of 14, he moved to Baltimore, Maryland with his family, where he made his living painting miniature portraits on ivory. He lived in Cuba from 1835 to 1845 and visited Hawaii from January, 1850 to June, 1852. After working in Australia, he returned to England in 1855. Sawkins died in 1878 in Turnham Green (near London), England.

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