While these miniature paintings always thrill me for the fact that it's likely the only remaining likeness of the individual, it's also so interesting to see these as references to costumery and jewelry of the different periods. This painting is a personal portrait (commissioned, rather than done 'after' a more famous artist's work from a museum, which is also done). Dating late 1700s to earliest 1800s, the natural beauty of this woman's lovely countenance is certainly evident, as is her fashionable attention to the most modern hairstyle and clothing, jewelry styles of her day. She may have been quite noted for both her beauty and stylishness in her time. The long gold chain she wears is likely what we now refer to as a muff chain, (we've got some of these antique extra long chains - just ask if you're interested, as they are sold separately). It shows you how the jewelry was worn in Springtime, when a lady no longer needed to use it to 'wear' her down-filled fur muff to warm the hands. Her charming locks peek out from under an ornate lace bonnet and the blue ribbons are no doubt silk, bought by the length and quite exotic in their time. This is a young woman of wealth and privilege. We don't know her name, and can only guess at the life that played out after this portrait was completed, or who out there is her progeny. But she's a fabulous 'instant ancestor' for anyone to whom her image 'calls out'.
Very good to excellent, in original frame and with original cover glass protecting her perfectly. She is painted in watercolor on thin natural wafer, with the original sealed backing still in place. I see no signature, so we can't speak to the notability of the artist except to say he/she was clearly exceptional in their talent. Frame and all, consistent with the age c. 1780-1820, and we think she is English.