A stunning tiny portrait miniature of a beautiful child, not painted but done in the most difficult and arduous of arts: kiln-fired enamel on convex metal plaque (likely copper). The ability of an enamelist to achieve the detail and likeness in this portrait is just astounding, really. I've worked with enamels, which are really just powder suspended in a liquid so you can sort of paint with it. But all the suspended enamels are only a variation of muddy shades of mauve to cloudy blue to browns and resemble not at all the color they will become once they're melted in a high-temperature kiln firing. In addition, this child's face is 1/2", chin to hairline. I love all of the portrait miniatures, artists' work so painstaking, one wonders if it's a single sable hair brush in use. But this! Well, stunning! Signed and noted by artist on back, also enameled surface, tells us this child was "Jean Courge(y or v) born 29, January 1894, painted at the age of 14 months by Mme. Desouches. Another woman artist.
Very good to excellent condition throughout. The fine antique French dore bronze bow top frame is a fine antique of value on its own, and the only 'flaw' I can note is that some of the 127 year old silk velvet nap has thinned, visible in our photos. The convex plaque worked in kiln-fired enamels - portrait, has no damage at all. No hairlines, no chips, no surface abrasion to report. From my own collection of decades.
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