Buying antiques out of Russia is problematic. I have a grouping of 3 from a family, sold out of Ukraine, that span nearly a century. This is the first, and the earliest of those (offering/selling separate). In their time, it was known as a Cossack Republic, though boundaries moved and changed. The Ottoman Empire, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Austria-Hungary and Russia, all claimed and covered the Ukraine over time. This handsome couple, each identified (view images) and each dated 1777, survive beautifully on their own, but someone has put them into a newer wooden display frame with lush silk velvet mat. Their small oval brass frames, original convex cover glass. The larger rounded corner rectangular wooden frame and silk velvet mat are a much later, possibly c.1900, modification, and matches the other portraits from the same estate. I can't link them as family, but it seems possible they were. Still, we'll offer them separately. Measurements are noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. I was able to take off the silk backing and access the 2 small portraits and the information written upon them. Done in 1777, they are Mr John Crawley, or Crowley, and his wife, E. Crawley, born Smart. English names, one wonders the business or lineage that took them to Ukraine. One year before their portraits were painted in gouache on thin natural wafer, the USA was officially declared independent from England. At that time, England's Empire reach was quite massive. Perhaps your research will answer questions about the two handsome people herein. I removed her from her small oval frame but not him. I just wanted to be certain the age was right, and the paintings were as I've described.