Antique Collecting Series #5: Portrait Miniatures
If you have been following my Antique Collecting posts over the years, you can see I have many collections.
I have always been attracted to women in portraiture.
Since I live in a small home, more like a cottage, my wall space is limited.
I started collecting early miniature portraits on ivory back when I lived in an apartment when I was single. They took up very little room and en masse, made up a lovely collection!
Ivory miniature portraits were commissioned before photography was invented. A way to remember a loved one. Many early pieces had a lock of the person's hair behind the framed portrait.
The size is usually 3" x 4", but can vary an inch or two.
The medium was usually oil on ivory, however, there are some portraits that were painted on wood or paper.
These small paintings can be very pricey, depending on the frame and how fancy the portrait is done. Portraits of children have the most value.
If you look closely, this beautiful woman is actually holding a miniature portrait of a loved one in her hand.
A picture within a picture!
Most of these portraits date from 1820-1840 and are of English or American origin.
The French portraits are much fancier, and the women are usually adorned in big white wigs.
Sometimes, you get lucky, and the name of the sitter is written on the back with the year, but usually she is just an anonymous woman, and I can only imagine the life she led.
This beautiful lady in the emerald green dress is "Julie Margherite 1802", probably the year of her birth.
This lovely lady is Johanna Mollner, a German young girl who is visiting Naples on holiday, obviously from a well to do family.
It says 1811, and 1845, probably the year of her visit or death. You can see Mount Vesuvius in the backround!
I hang them in nooks on my staircase, and in cabinets.
The gal in the bonnet is American, you can tell by her clothing.
This woman has her King Charles Spaniel with her, and is a British sea captain's wife.
Lady Montague. Oh, pardon me.
They are my old friends, and I honor their memory, whomever they were!
They are all beautiful women to me.