A lovely set of Georgian reverse prints on glass in their original frames with hand painted paper backings, I would date them to about 1800. Each print features a different lady in fashion of the day and what a lovely pair indeed! In the frame they measure separately just under 7", the round glass reverse painted prints measure about 5".
The colors are still very vibrant and the pigments of the skin tones very life like. Usually I find the reverse painted prints of this era on religious subjects, so this find was very refreshing since I love the romance of earlier period costumes. Reverse painted prints were a rather common pastime in the late 18th century through the 19th and not a difficult endeavor even for the novice but because of the fragile materials (ie: paper to glass) finding them in all originality and in good condition is becoming a harder endeavor.
The subject matter reminds me very much of the miniature portrait paintings of the era but these are much larger. However, when I arranged them with my miniatures of the same period they showed very well, possibly because reverse painted prints have a similar luminosity like the miniatures. Unsigned, they are likely English in origin but possibly French, circa late 1700s or very early 1800. The glass prints themselves are in very good condition without any cracks or breaks. The old original frames show wear (the whites you see on the rims) and the hand painted early paper on the back show stains here and there but these little imperfections are generally considered inconsequential since they are indicative of the true antique nature and rather typical for art of this age. They retain their original wreath bow hangers on the top.
Fairly rare, especially as a matching set, and becoming harder and harder to find. What antique dealers and collectors used to disregard as armature works are now becoming sought and collected. I cannot say when I will find another set as enchanting as I find these to be.
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