This painting is another amazing one from my collections - this c.1795-99 portrait mounted in 18k gold on a superb tortoise shell snuff or patch box, puts this handsome young gentleman's likeness into a space that is only 1/2", chin to hairline. A fabulous and rare portrait miniature, clearly he is a young man of the "Incroyables et Merveilleuses" - (incredibles and marvelous) the slightly smug face of a spoiled rich fashionable Parisian making political statement. An exquisite though unsigned French portrait miniature, outlandish fashion of over-thick cravat and double breasted short coat in blue, high collar, powdered hair, long. The white cravat with blue-trimmed ruffled bib, (thick-wrapped cravat - reminder of the neck wounds of the guillotined Royals). Interesting double breasted yellow vest, tall embroidery collar. The portrait is, I am certain, c.1795-99, instead, mean he is an aristocrat in support of Royalty overthrown and beheaded in The Terror. "Mods" in their time. A fashion celebrating excess, riches, the macabre, these young people scandalized Paris in the days after the execution of Robespierre. The history is wonderful and must be read. The fat cravat is a typical sign of support and memorial to those aristocrats who were overthrown in the French Revolution, late 1700s. So he's somewhere between 1795 to 1799 when the fashion exuberance faded. Do read about this short period in fashion. All the history is so interesting. The mount and rim is entirely 18k even to the thin mounting tabs within. Convex cover glass and a pristine painting in gouache on thin wafer, backed in silver foil to push light back up through the wafer.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, the gold mount is entirely 18k gold, including the thin back-tabs. The small painting is very well preserved under the original slightly convex cover glass. Painting is superb. No damage, no loss, and the exaggerated height of his collar lifts his "Incroyables" quotient, as well. RARE! You will see a small darkened Lind traversing his face. There are no hairlines nor cracks, no chips - I think the darkening relates to the silver foil backing the painting. In person, it is not noticeable as it is in our greatly enlarged digital photos. The snuff box is excellent, no damage, no bug bites or losses. It ha been well-cherished these 220-30 years. RARE subject I've collected now for decades - my collections being disbursed.
IMPORTANT NOTE regarding antique tortoise shell or ivory: We are great supporters of protection for endangered species in our modern world. We never buy or sell anything 100 years or newer; we donate to anti-poaching organizations; we don't hunt; we conserve in ways that impact global warming (we're totally solar at home), knowing those measures also protect the animals in the wild today. We also recognize the vast cultural history we preserve with our care and reverence for these antique objects, and agree with CITES that objects over 100 years of age have nothing whatsoever to do with species depletion in our current world.
Our offering exceeds the age limitation of "more than 100 years of age", and is well within the exemption for CITES regulation. If imported, met the CITES regulation. This item will be handled and shipped from our Utah business, and is not available for shipment internationally, nor within the USA to California, NY, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington if it contains ivory, sorry. Please see our small print for more details.