One of my favorites, an incredibly tiny painting of a gentleman, mid-1700s, still housed in fine condition within his original shagreen-clad wooden etui or case. The face on this miniature is so alive, brilliant on its 1 1/4" x 1 1/8" oval wafer. Original cover glass is still in place protecting him, and the case is just exceptional - really pristine. These very early miniatures of this type are incredibly rare at this point in time. And the more rare, in this condition. I've collected portrait miniatures for 40 years, and this is the very finest case - complete with both clasp hooks, not a bit of damage to the shagreen. Shagreen is the super-fine belly leather from the stingray, distinctive small scales. Popular among the very wealthy, 1700s, most examples have lost bits or even shreds of the very fine leather (galuchat in French). Louis XV era.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. You can see there is a very tiny rub to the painting at about the 4 o'clock position, near perimeter. This one's case, made of wood with shagreen cover, has no warp or anything to report as damage. Remarkably, the silk napped velvet inside is also excellent. One has to wonder to which Royal family this belonged, as those seem to survive best. Found in Europe, his blue eyes and features look out at us from some 270 years ago.