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 exceptional tiny miniature if 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 - a writer or official - one of the finest, as you can see. 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 a largish nose, and even his buttons and quill pens, inkwell 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. You see it best with this one, where there are intentional gold dots surrounding him. One might think its shrunken over time, but it was made this way. What seems to be a frame is actually a magnificent 18k gold pique worked tortoise shell snuff box lid. The rest of the snuff box having been lost or broken over time. The lid has some breaks, roughness, but hung in display, it is gorgeous, and 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 tight fine hairline which extends across his wrist, chest and right side of face looking at it directly, but stops at his hairline. It is quite usual for old natural wafers to shrink a little and stress lines to form. It doesn't represent a break, but does represent shrinkage. I've photographed him only through the cover glass, not wanting to remove him from the mount or disturb this one. Original cover glass is slightly convex, and the entire frame is stunning, if somewhat damaged. 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.