A charming old one, mid-1700s, this portrait was made and given in friendship or affection, according to the opaline glass dedication that is mounted within. She's mounted on top of a snuff box of fine old tortoise shell, and her pet parrot (or exotic bird) perches on her bodice. So much to love about this rare old one. I've always watched for portraits of people with their pets, and often from c.1700s France, that pet will be a bird. Some tethered on a long ribbon so they can fly about but still not fly away. In over 40 years, I've really only found around 15 of them. This one is superb! Louis XV to XVI era, not later than c.1770s, the mount face is 18k gold, though it is attached to a brass fitting. I did take her apart to clean a very messy interior cover glass, and it was quite a chore. I do not recommend you take her apart for another century at least. The very thin natural wafer upon which she is so beautifully painted, is unsigned, and it has shrunken slightly which reveals the outer edges, not quite covered by the gold frame mount. At 2 1/2" diameter, some will say it is a patch box rather than a snuff box. There is no evidence it has ever held snuff. Flowers tucked in her bodice. Isn't it fabulous!
Very good to excellent for age and type. The painting is superb. I have shown her to you outside of her snuff box mount. No cracks, hairlines, losses to speak of. Also no signature. These artists were just tradesmen/woman in their time. Poorly paid and not often with a signature that would add to the painting. Sadly, because the talent expressed in that face, which is only 1/2", chin to hairline, if immense. You will see a couple of tiny dings to the gold face, and there are a few bug bites, typical of its age and material. There is, also, a bit of the inside bottom half lip which has been lost. Does not show when the box is closed, and I've shown it for evaluation. RARE! Charming. I'll hate to see her go.
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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