The dates for this remarkable 18th century French portrait miniature in 18k gold pendant frame cannot be mistaken, nor the political statement it makes. Rich and spoiled young Royalists, during the 5-year period 1795-1799 dressed in elaborately crafted clothing which seemed at once frivolous, and yet also protested The Terror, the guillotine, and the displacement of Royals and those who supported them. You'll want to look at the history of this most unique fashion statement. The dog-ear hair, the high collar (that coat would be cropped, I'm certain, to just above waist), the white geometrically woven silk front piece and white enboidered silk vest and, notably, the overly thick ascot which was a mimic of the severing of heads at guillotine. Portraits from this era, these wealthy young people at a time of chaos after the French Revolution, trying to make sense of their losses - they're personal favorites among portrait miniatures. This one is signed and dated, "1799", artist's name might be Riedl. This one is quite typical, really - framed in 18k gold locket or pendant style frame, heavy convex cover glass on front and back and the original arranged hair memento still intact in the back half. The gold frame has 2 parts, slender and beautifully crafted, one slides into the other. A hanging bale up top. Could be worn as a large pendant, fine jewelry, as was done back then - particularly as a mourning icon. Full measurements noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition throughout. No breaks on either convex cover glass, the hair art remains pristine, and the painting wafer is not chipped nor broken. The gold frame is superb, no breaks and no dents and still smoothly fitted, stays tightly closed. The slight 'flaws' have more to do with the artist, really, and are slight imperfections in the background of the portrait. The portraits are worked in gouache or aquarelle (watercolor) and any accidental drop of moisture causes a disruption. Imagine being so careful on the portrait, only to drop a drop onto the background.