A pair of 18th century circular half length studies of two small infants/putti. Each adorable George II era study is a brown ink and sangrine colored stipple engraving with etching printed upon silk. Each is titled to the reverse we see Happiness and Innocence, each originally painted by Giovanni Battista Cipriani and printed by Francesco Bartolozzi. Along the base of Happiness mainly covered by the frame one can just make out the printed script G B Cipriani Inv.t. Although we cannot see it we expect that F. Bartolozzi sculp should also be printed along the bottom. Interestingly during the 18th century the 'Happiness' engraving was also titled 'Contentment', please see this print on paper held by The British Museum by Bartolozzi after Cipriani dated 1782.
Housed in their original Georgian stained wood, reeded frames with old glass and top suspension loops. We see Happiness as a young child with robe draped over her shoulder, she is holding a dove. Innocence is a young Butterfly winged putti holding a Butterfly on a twig.
The Victoria and Albert Museum tells us
"There must have been a demand from collectors for Bartolozzi subjects printed on silk, for Francesco Bartolozzi is the print maker whose designs are most frequently encountered in this form. Prints on silk were always aimed at a niche market, and their fragility has made them especially rare today. This may be because prints on silk tended to be framed and hung on the wall. Thus they were exposed to the damaging effects of light."
Size: Framed 4.75" diameter. First and last images are taken in natural English daylight.
Condition: Very good unopened condition. Some loose dust and debris is trapped under the old glass to both. As is SOOO common with antique wooden circular frames of this vast age, old historic and very stable repairs where the circular frame has split. A slight 0.5" line of perishing to the silk at 1 o'clock on Happiness.
A sweet and charming pair of absolutely ancient survivors waiting to delight their next guardian. Don't they look fabulous as a grouping with other period miniatures.....see last image for inspo.
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