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Antique Portrait Miniature of a Child, Boy with Pet Canary and Fruit, c.1780-1830
Antique Portrait Miniature of a Child, Boy with Pet Canary and Fruit, c.1780-1830
Antique Portrait Miniature of a Child, Boy with Pet Canary and Fruit, c.1780-1830
Antique Portrait Miniature of a Child, Boy with Pet Canary and Fruit, c.1780-1830
Antique Portrait Miniature of a Child, Boy with Pet Canary and Fruit, c.1780-1830
Antique Portrait Miniature of a Child, Boy with Pet Canary and Fruit, c.1780-1830
Antique Portrait Miniature of a Child, Boy with Pet Canary and Fruit, c.1780-1830
Antique Portrait Miniature of a Child, Boy with Pet Canary and Fruit, c.1780-1830
Antique Portrait Miniature of a Child, Boy with Pet Canary and Fruit, c.1780-1830

Antique Portrait Miniature of a Child, Boy with Pet Canary and Fruit, c.1780-1830

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Initially I wondered a bit if this might be Napoleon's son, who spent his ill-fated young life in his grandmother's Schonbrünn Palace. His pet canary still is on display in the Palace tour, a 200 year old taxidermy in a cage - one of the saddest things ever. Napoleon deposed, his young wide Marie-Louise having left him and his child behind for a new life, the boy never ascended to the throne, was always a rather sickly boy, and died of tuberculosis at age 21.

First of all, I had bought a group from an anonymous estate out of Eastern Europe, all of which c.1700s to as late as 1820, and there is no identification but speculation that they might well have been from Vienna to Poland, to Russian or Prussian Royalty or Courtier. The frames are unlike the ones we find in France, England, or even USA during the period, and while I can't place them more fully, it certainly bears mention. This charming miniature is one from that collection. I always think I'll do more research and ultimately identify the families, but without artist signature, or estate named (it was anonymous at auction), there seems little hope. Perhaps you can.  A 3/4 portrait with hints to his everyday life of importance - perhaps a Royal. Miniature portraits of a child are rare, and rarer still with his or her pet. How an artist can accomplish that much detail in a painting so small is just astounding, isn't it. But there you see him, brightness of eye, a bit of curl to his blond hair, and even his basket of fruit and his pet bird in exquisite tiny detail. A personal favorite, a few unique aspects: All of the paintings I purchased in same collection are framed showing the perimeter of the painting, with a little decorative touch on the paper to which it is attached.  A unique machined brass frame, and I have 3 other children from same collection which are all framed in this unusual frame. I think it suggests Vienna to St. Petersburg to me - a rich cultural center of the 1700s. But who is he? 

Very good for age and type. You can see there is a little loss to the gouache paint to the right of the boy. Original cover glass is flat, unlike those we find from France, too. Those are most often slightly convex. See images. Oh, I would have loved it if he were in original snuff box form, complete. But 250 to 300 years, he's superb. Measurements noted on photos.