Sweetest little thing! A little girl, aged 2-3, big blue eyes and very blond hair. A low bodice baby gown with baby blue sash and bows to match her eyes. How do I know for certain it's a girl? Circa 1840-60, still a custom to part a boy's hair to the side, and a girl's hair down the center. That's about when this stunning little painting on mother of pearl wafer was completed, and as fine as it is, I do not see a signature of the very talented artist. She's memorialized in a very nice Victorian era brooch mount which has had a hinged bale added so it can be worn as a pendant. A hook at bottom is meant to hold a gold watch, or to dangle a jewel, and it and the long Victorian pin are also 18k gold. A beautiful portrait and all the more rare the subject. Children's portrait miniatures are few and far between. We have no way to know who she is. I purchased this one in France, but of course the mount feels a bit English, and it might well be. I find no French hallmark for 18k, so might lean toward the mount, at least, telling us she is from another nationality. Measurements noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. She is painted on a wafer of mother of pearl, which you can see from the backside. Typically, this is a very difficult material to paint upon, and it sometimes is prone to flaking. You see a very tiny bit of that to her left, from about 9-10 o'clock on the very outer perimeter of the wafer. From most angles of view, it disappears. I've tried to capture it. Additionally, a tiny and very fine surface scratch or 2 on the convex cover glass casts a shadow under the photo lights, but that is not anything on the painting. In a photo or two, I could see the tiny line on her neck, another very tiny one on chin. I can't seem to capture the super-small scratch on the glass, but I can locate it with a fingernail. You won't ever notice it. Very little imperfection to this one. Oh, I mentioned above, the pendant bale seems not to be 18k and seems also to have been added or repaired at some point (look closely). No dents on the beautifully crafted mount. A real gem, this one!
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