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19th Century English Watercolor Portrait Miniature Young Lady Blue Dress Signed B W Gilbert Circa 1840
This beguiling side portrait profile of a young lady dates to the early Victorian period, circa 1840. This detailed and very personal portrait depicts a young lady wearing a beautiful blue dress with frilled neckline, gold drop earrings, a gold brooch and a gilt watch chain. The sitter is named Mary Ann Ashcroft and because of her kind, calm countenance and small delicate features, we cannot help but think that a girl like Mary was the visual inspiration for Charles Dickens character Amy Dorrit (Little Dorrit). Let us hope that Mary did not have to reside at The Marshalsea!!
This attractive portrait is painted on card and is signed bottom right by the talented artist ‘B. W. Gilbert’. The painting is housed under old convex glass in its original papier mache frame with wonderful brass details such as the acorn top hanger. Some remains of the original blue paper artists label are seen to the reverse.
Measuring: Frame width 4.5 inch (11.5 cm) by height 5 5/8 inch (14.5 cm). Frame depth 2/8 inch (7mm). Aperture width 2.75 inch (7 cm) by height 3 3/8 inch (8.5 cm).
Condition: The watercolor is in good, sound condition with minor stable crazing to the watercolor surface at 6 o'clock area. The frame is in good condition with some minor surface crazing.
This is a very splendid 19th century example that works wonderfully well as a grouping. It is a personal favorite and I can 100% guarantee that this will be a personal favorite of yours.
As you can probably tell we adore portrait miniatures. They fire the imagination, respect the 'gone before' (when she sat for her portrait back in 1840 did Mary ever think that 177 years later we would be discussing her) and also educate us in so many ways. One can have an insight in to the times, the fashion and what was happening in the world when the portrait was taken. They really are touching the past...we hope we might have inspired you to add to your existing collection or consider this as a sterling start to this addictive collecting field.
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