Her loose and casual fashion would suggest she is one of the fashion icon youth known as the Incroyables et Merveilleux (incredibles and marvelous), a political fashion movement in protest of the guillotined and confined to dates c. 1795-99.
The Incroyables (incredible men) and their female counterparts, the Merveilleuses "marvelous women"), were members of a fashionable aristocratic subculture in Paris during the French Directory period (1795–1799). Whether as catharsis or in a need to reconnect with other survivors of the Reign of Terror (guillotines) they greeted the new regime with an outbreak of luxury, decadence, and even silliness. They held hundreds of balls and started fashion trends in clothing and mannerisms that today seem exaggerated, affected, or even effete. They were also mockingly called "incoyable" or "meveilleuse", without the letter R, reflecting their upper class accent in which that letter was lightly pronounced, almost inaudibly. When this period ended, society took a more sober and modest turn.
Members of the ruling classes were also among the movement's leading figures, and the group heavily influenced the politics, clothing, and arts of the period. They emerged from the muscadin, a term for dandyish anti-Jacobin street gangs in Paris from 1793 who were important politically for some two years; the terms are often used interchangeably, though the muscadins were of a lower social background, being largely middle-class. VERY interesting period and fashion, indeed. Most would just refer to her as a 'naughty' for the low loose bodice.
Good to very good condition for age and type - well over 225 years old. Alas, while the painting is in excellent condition protected by the original gold plaque and metal mount and its slightly convex cover glass, the very old tortoise shell box has fared less well, and does have bug bites on much of the bottom perimeter, and a chip on upper rim just below the seated young woman which is substantial. I've loved the old box, however, in my own collection. We've adjusted for the condition in our price. Portrait is gorgeous and still displays well.
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.