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Hand-painted miniature portraits were the predecessors of photography. In an age when no other means of preserving a likeness was available, a hand-painted portrait was a treasure and a legacy passed from generation to generation. Painting surfaces for these miniature works of art varied from porcelain to enamel and celluloid to ivory. Some portrait miniatures were done of famous "beauties" of the era, others were of classic style beauties rather than a particular real person.

Conceived as personal mementos and tokens of affection, these intimate images were carried or worn by both men and women as a means to keep loved ones close at heart, even when they were not physically present.

This wonderful example features thistle leaves, marquisette and garnet festooned flowers around a 9k gold-framed young woman boasting a large coiffe. The thistle leaves represent bravery, courage, and loyalty, while garnet is an ancient symbol of frienship. 


Materials and Features: 9k gold, enamel, garnet

Age/Origin: 18th C, French, Georgian, c. 1780

Measurements: 1.85" diameter, 12.4 grams

Condition: Excellent condition. Minor associated age wear.  

Please view and inspect any photos closely. We endeavor to fully disclose all condition information clearly and concisely, however, please note that what qualifies as excellent condition for historical jewelry differs from modern and contemporary pieces; please take the age of the piece into account when examining the piece. Minor age wear is typical and to be expected for antique and vintage jewelry. Unless otherwise stated, gemstones have not been officially graded for color, clarity, or treatment by GIA; any information provided is our own educated, professional assessment.

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