Beautiful antique painting of the Virgin Mary, miniature art. Here is what we know: this was taken off the front cover of a book printed in the late 1700's. It was enclosed in the silver metal frame as shown in photo; and had either glass of some see-through covering over the art. We acquired this from the owner of the book who had removed the art, and the glass or covering was broken when he bought it, now removed. The lower area in the right corner was the area exposed without the covering, and is a little darker than the rest, if you look closely you may see a line there, but it is not a crack, but the link delineating where the covering was gone for at least a few years if not many. This was sold to us and represented as a painting by a fine antiques dealer and it certainly appears to be one; but we will leave open the possibility that is could have been a fine lithograph style print that was then hand painted over or embellished. What we do know for certainty is the age and the fact we have never seen anything like it in our years of collecting art of the Virgin Mary. It measures 2 & 7/8" tall and 2 & 3/8" wide. The back of it appears to be a paper covering over what may be very thin wood or some type of hard material. The original prongs are still on the back of the frame which were holding in into the book front binding. We truly believe this to be a rare treasure. We see no signature, it cold be that there is one hiding that would show up if this were cleaned, but given the small size and risk of injury in the cleaning process. we decided to offer it without any cleaning or restoration. We truly regret the antique dealer we acquired this from did not write down the title of the book, which he tossed as he bought it only to get the art, and he does not remember it.
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