Dating from the era of French King Louis XV to XVI, clothed in the fashion of c.1740s with the crossover lace fichu and her hairstyle, this woman looks out at us from nearly 300 years ago, and survives (at least in this form) in beautiful condition. Cased in a magnificently well-preserved shagreen case or etui, it is only very very rarely I find one so untouched by time. She remains sealed to her convex cover glass, and I did not wish to break that tissue seal, though it is tempting since there is a small bit of dust or scum clinging to the inside of the glass, showing itself as miniscule white dots to her right, about 4 o'clock position. But I'm just not one to break an original seal. That case is 2 7/8" in diameter and 1/2" thick, which is larger than most we've found over the decades. Unique in the fine condition, but also in that it has a hanging bale up top. Sadly, we do not have her identification, and the very talented artist did not sign. She has a bit of a look of Marie-Antoinette, that long nose. But this woman is a full generation or 2 before her. This painting, in gouache on wafer, is a superior work of miniaturist's art. I can increase the size for your view, but you must keep in mind that her face fills only 3/4" from her chin to the top of her bangs (hairline). Quite remarkable!
Excellent condition throughout, age and type considered. As if it was just pulled from the vest pocket of her husband, or the trousseau trunk of her daughter. Nearly 300 years, say 14 or so generations back, this woman lived and loved. Important enough in history to have sat for this painting. There is no warp to her painting, still sealed behind the convex cover glass. The interior silk velvet of the case and underlayment of the portrait are excellent, as is the fine shagreen (galuchat) exterior. You're seeing the finest leather - tanned belly of the stingray. Treasured!