Webster's Dictionary defines a "masterpiece" as "a work done with extraordinary skill or artistic achievement." I have been fortunate enough lately to acquire several jewels which meet this criteria, and I am proud to present the "Masterpiece collection" for the consideration of my Ruby Lane clientele!
Dating to c.1660-1670, this absolutely breathtaking Stuart-era portrait miniature is a fabulous example of wearable art, and is framed and backed in 14k yellow gold! This miniature first came to me as a pair; the other was a lifetime portrait of King Louis XIV which has gone into my permanent collection, and this lady, although painted by a different hand, dates to the same decade. Although her identity has been temporarily lost to history, it would be a research project that will be well worth the new owner's time, as she is clearly French noblewoman from the Court of the Sun King!
Measuring a grand 3 1/8" x 2 1/2" without the pendant bail, the subject is a Court lady of perhaps 25 years old, who is very much an ideal beauty of the 1660s. She wears her abundant hair pulled away from her face and held back by a band of pearls and jewels, just visible in the photos. She has a border of spit curls around her face, a style which was up-to-the-minute for the 1660s. Brown ringlets spill down her back and over her shoulders.
This brown-eyed beauty wears a secret smile as well as a low-necked crimson gown with a sheer lawn and lace undergown which peeks over the top of her bodice. She also wears the ultimate status symbol of the 17th century lady - a row of perfectly round pearls - around her neck! She looks at the viewer with interest and confidence; this is clearly a lady of noble birth who has lived a life in the French court of the Louis XIV! This miniature is in all-around excellent condition for its 350+ years, without major losses or in-painting, and is a beautiful example of French 17th-century art. Moreover, the sitter may have had a relationship with the Sun King himself!
I purchased this miniature unframed, but knew that it was just begging to be made into a wearable work of art, so I had my laser worker set her into the solid 14k rose-gold frame you see here. Now, she is ready for instant wear or display! The miniature weighs in at 37.74 grams, and over half of that weight is the gold. This French beauty looks phenomenal worn as a pendant on a gold chain, or on display in a collection with other early miniatures! If you collect the best in either portrait miniatures or early jewelry, this example belongs around your neck and in your collection! She would also make a stellar gift for anyone fascinated with French history and the Court of Louis XIV, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss this custom-designed Masterpiece; up to 4-month layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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