This may possibly be the finest Mourning piece I have ever seen. A young blonde haired winged man kneels beside his resting memorial. His name, Wilhelm Carl (I believe) is beautifully written on his tombstone. This outstanding piece was commissioned and created to commemorate him.
The first thing strikes you is that this was hand painted in wonderful vivid color. For the period, black and white or (Sepia-painted) pieces were most common. The hair behind was also common for the period however this is intricate work. I would say, it is more than just the beautiful braiding of the child's hair with a love knot, but the use of genuine gold dots and the light pink enamel work finish it off so beautifully.
The artist that produced this piece was exceptional and quite talented. The expression on the young man's face and the completely proportional body is extraordinary. He is quite muscular and has a simple blue silk drape laying across his lap. His wings were painted in black and white. Behind him there are tree's and foliage. Head down, it seems as if he is resting on a walking stick. The background is shaded with pinks and light sky blue's. It looks to be a sunset time of the day to me.
The locket is of nice size and measures 1 5/8" x 1 1/8" across. It measures approximately 1/4" thick from the front side of the crystal to the back side of its crystal. The locket is set in 15K Rose Gold which has been professionally tested. There is an area that is slightly lifted in where the piece can be opened. I have not done so and certainly do not recommend it. The bail is fixed and can be added to so many things.. Perhaps a Georgian chain like that in the last photo? That chain is not for sale however added to a similar chain, or a muff chain with a swivel would be wonderful. Or, a simple black velvet ribbon, gold chain or even a watch chain, the possibilities are endless.
The piece is Circa 1790, Georgian period. Likely a German family migrated to the UK and this was produced in England. It weighs 9.8 grams with the measurements above. The condition I would call excellent but, if you are a complete perfectionist, when the piece is held sideways to the light, one can see some extremely minor scratches to the crystals. Also, on the backside, at the very bottom, with a loupe you can see 1 or 2 tiny beads of gold that likely are behind the very light brown hair lock.
This is such a remarkable piece. Clearly the family was one of means. I reserve the word rare for just this sort of piece which I sincerely believe it is. One of the most touching and lovely Mourning pieces which would be fit for the finest of collections. This piece is also book worthy. Please Note: Wilhelm is both a German or American given name, both given to little boys. Questions are always welcome.
Item ID: DW1199
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God Bless Our Troops near and Far. Please bring them home at Godspeed. From a Military Mom
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