A rare magnificent tiny portrait, mid-1700s portrait of a pretty young woman with her fashionable powdered hair and filmy fichu wrapping her shoulders. Someone with a fortunate life being lived in luxury, nobility or at very least the lover or mistress of same. She is painted in gouache on wafer, perfectly preserved under slightly convex and highly polished original cover glass, surrounded in an 18k gold ornate mount frame and decorates a superb 250 year old snuff box or perhaps patch box. Three inches in diameter, could have been either one, with its thin red tortoise shell lining, more likely a snuff. Slender edging of tortoise shell, all fully intact - rare to find these old ones complete and without cracks or chips or losses. Full measurements noted on photos, but her beautiful face has been captured in a space just 1/2" from chin to hairline. Imagine!
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, while I haven't taken the portrait from her sealed mount, I can see that there is no damage to the wafer.No signature, sometimes the signature of the artist will be tiny and on rim so that it is not seen in aperture. I have opened to clean inner cover glass, and to photograph the painting wafer. and look for signature or ID, which does sometimes appear within. I did not find signature or ID with this one. As noted, no cracks in the superb and very old ivory, but you can see there is a slight darkening there on the lid, perhaps just the stain of loving hands having held and used the snuff, placing a thumb just there. Interior shell lining is also pristine, not any loss there, either. I always feel like these best preserved ones must be someone important, kept in museum or tucked away in some palace collection only now coming to light. I do not know her name or background. I did find her in France. She is from my own collections of a lifetime.
IMPORTANT NOTE regarding antique tortoise shell or ivory: We are great supporters of protection for endangered species in our modern world. We never buy or sell anything 100 years or newer; we donate to anti-poaching organizations; we don't hunt; we conserve in ways that impact global warming (we're totally solar at home), knowing those measures also protect the animals in the wild today. We also recognize the vast cultural history we preserve with our care and reverence for these antique objects, and agree with CITES that objects over 100 years of age have nothing whatsoever to do with species depletion in our current world.
Our offering exceeds the age limitation of "more than 100 years of age", and is well within the exemption for CITES regulation. If imported, met the CITES regulation. This item will be handled and shipped from our Utah business, and is not available for shipment internationally, nor within the USA to California, NY, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington if it contains ivory, sorry. Please see our small print for more details.
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