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Antique English Portrait Miniature of a Soldier, Backed with a Silhouette of a Beauty, Grand Tour
Antique English Portrait Miniature of a Soldier, Backed with a Silhouette of a Beauty, Grand Tour
Antique English Portrait Miniature of a Soldier, Backed with a Silhouette of a Beauty, Grand Tour
Antique English Portrait Miniature of a Soldier, Backed with a Silhouette of a Beauty, Grand Tour
Antique English Portrait Miniature of a Soldier, Backed with a Silhouette of a Beauty, Grand Tour
Antique English Portrait Miniature of a Soldier, Backed with a Silhouette of a Beauty, Grand Tour
Antique English Portrait Miniature of a Soldier, Backed with a Silhouette of a Beauty, Grand Tour
Antique English Portrait Miniature of a Soldier, Backed with a Silhouette of a Beauty, Grand Tour
Antique English Portrait Miniature of a Soldier, Backed with a Silhouette of a Beauty, Grand Tour
Antique English Portrait Miniature of a Soldier, Backed with a Silhouette of a Beauty, Grand Tour

Antique English Portrait Miniature of a Soldier, Backed with a Silhouette of a Beauty, Grand Tour

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Here is where the expertise of a longtime antiques dealer with much knowledge of history, decorative arts, and processes can save you from making big mistakes in your collection. This portrait, lovely as it is, had been sold as a 1700s antique. It has a look of one, to be sure. But in fact, it is a c.1900 production, yes, hand painted possibly 'aprés' of after a famous portrait, and nicely done. And the charming silhouette found within has the look and feel of being authentic to period, as well. BUT (and the buts are big!), it is technically a fake. Perhaps sold as so initially - a souvenir of the Belle Epoch grand tour, and let me tell you how I know. The composition of the frame or backing is not the old papier-mâché-like composition or board, it is actually fiber-glass-like instead. Wrong composit, entirely. The hardware up top has the motif of the 1700s ones (English) but it hasn't the finely chiseled detail of that era. The convex cover glass is right, though when you open up the painting, you will see that it shows through from backside (good), but look more closely - those lines are too even. It is painted on a wafer of early celluloid. A vivid mimic of the original substance upon which the old portrait miniatures are painted.  So, while lovely, and it is, and romantic - that maiden tucked in back as if she's still to this day waiting the return of this handsome soldier - it is not as antique as it wants you to think it is. I would date it at 100-120 years old, so technically it is antique, but it is a nicely crafted 'fake' of the Grand Tour era.  Don't be fooled into paying high prices for the Grand Tour paintings.  Ok, that said, lovely just the same.  Please, please, if you purchase this one, make a note to yourself on back that it is not c.1750-70s Revolutionary era. Know what you have and correctly identify it in your collection.  Were it authentic to the period it represents, it would be 2-3 times higher in value.

Very good condition for age and type (late 1800s to 1910, a Grand Tour painting), and is hand painted. Vibrant and bold and heroic, with a hidden silhouette I have turned outward to the back side so you can see her. No flaws but a small spot of imperfection on the composition outer rectangular frame. THIS IS NOT A 1700s REVOLUTIONARY original portrait.  Measurements are noted on the photos.