Exceptionally beautiful and exceptionally decorative are the terms we would use to describe this 18th century antique treasure, later mounted and framed behind old glass. Several exceedingly decorative forms of artwork are combined in one truly beautiful devotional object. We see three original 18th century 'cut paper' pictures, each papery lace example was intricately hand cut with a tiny knife. To each centre is a hand painted miniature portrait of a Saint. The watercolor pigment would have come entirely from natural products such as plants, fruits, flowers, mineral stones. For example the vibrant blue was ground from the expensive Lapislazzuli stone. Combined with its fantastic provenance, we fell head over heels in love with this object, we hope that you will too.......
This French circa 1790s triple picture comes from the personal collection of the well published, decorative arts author Noel Riley. This exact item is photographed in Chapter 13 PAPERWORK, page 249 of her book The Accomplished Lady , A History of Genteel Pursuits c.1660-1860.
This modern framed triple example depicts three hand painted miniature watercolor icons or holy cards of St Catharina, St Gregorius and St Michael each hand cut from paper and trimmed to fit this mount. The origin of Holy Cards or in french " Canivet" date back to the 1600's. Priests would distribute these small cards among the literate. Notaries often attached them to legal documents to guarantee their legitimacy, and travelers would put them inside trunks as supernatural insurance against theft. It was during the 17th and 18th centuries that they really excelled themselves in decorative splendor. "Canivet" translates as Knife because all of the paper work is cut by a sharp knife like tool. These three works devotional would have been executed by a Nun in a convent and likely sold to pilgrims visiting the convent.
Size: Frame size 12" by 8.25" high. Canivet sizes, largest 4.75" tall by 2.75" wide, smaller ones approx 4" tall by 2" wide.
Condition: These three original trimmed 18th century examples are offered in very good condition. St Catharina who has some very old damp transference smudging to her face from old damp walls. As mentioned, trimmed in the past to fit this modern frame and modern blue mount.A super trio to adorn any wall.
Please stop a while and browse some of our other are rare art works on paper. We have a passion for early devotional works, paper cutting, silhouettes and watercolour miniatures from the 17th to early 19th centuries.
Prior to purchase, please study all images and condition information, as these form an integral part of the description.
18th Century French Cut Paper Picture, Canivet, Paper Cut Holy Card, Provenance Noel Riley C 1790
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