Dating to c.1760-1770, this oil on copper portrait miniature of a gentleman is a resplendent mid-18th century jewel!
Measuring 2 1/8" long with the pendant bail and 1 7/8" wide, this is one of the MOST splendid portraits I have had the pleasure to acquire in a great while, and the medium of oil on copper is a boon as well as a rarity! The sitter is a handsome gentleman of perhaps 25 years of age, and he is dressed in the up-to-the-minute fashion of the mid-1760s!
Our sitter is truly a Georgian-era beau, and I adore the way he smiles right at the viewer! He has hazel eyes, a ruddy complexion, full lips, and his powdered hair is swept back from his forehead and tied in a queue. This gent is very likely minor nobility; he sports a blue jacket with two rows of gold braid on the collar, and one row down the edge of his coat. His cravat is made from the sheerest, finest lawn, and his gray silk waistcoat is also trimmed in gold. SO DASHING!
The image is set beneath it's original optical crystal, and is bezeled in a closed-backed, sterling-grade mounting with 47 flat-cut amethysts adorning the frame! The amethysts are the pale violet "rose de France" variety, and are set atop pink foils in closed-backed collets of sterling silver. Each amethyst weighs approx. 6 points for a total carat weight of 2.82 carats. By some miracle, none of these stones are cracked or replaced, and they add just the right amount of sparkle to this impressive portrait! The amethyst frame is held by four silver bolts to the back of the frame, and is completely hand-crafted; one can still see the original tool marks left by the lapidary who made it!
As one can see from the back of the jewel, it appears that this miniature was originally intended to be a bracelet clasp, but the curious bit is that there is no opening to allow for a clasp, and the bail is an original one. Perhaps the lady having this portrait set decided against a bracelet and opted for a pendant instead? The actual story remains a mystery lost to the ages, but what remains is this marvelous pendant!
This jewel has made it through the past 250 years in untouched condition, and looks fabulous worn on a silver chain, or on a black silk ribbon in true Georgian style! Although unsigned, it is truly the work of an academically-trained artist! (It may be signed on the reverse, but I dare not remove the miniature from it's frame!) The only bit of visible wear is a tiny paint flake to the gent's forehead and a small flake to the hairline; this is perfectly acceptable in an oil on copper portrait of this great age, and does not detract from it's inherent value, but I have set my price with this bit of wear in mind. Otherwise, this miniature is nearly as fresh as it was when first painted c.1765, and it is free of repairs, in-painting, or replacements! This pendant weighs in at 24.51 grams.
If you collect the finest in Georgian jewelry, this fashionable man of wealth and high social standing would love to make his new home in your collection! He would also make a thrilling gift for any lady or gentleman fond of the finest in 18th-century portrait miniatures, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss this rarity; up to 60-day 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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