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Miniature Portrait Early 18th C. Ring

SOLD Item 10208

The portrait miniature has a history that flourished from the 16th century to around the mid 19th century. It is a very small painting that is held in the hand or worn as a piece of jewelry. The Royal House of Tudor is referred to as one of the first collectors of miniatures. Both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were ardent aficionados of these tiny works of art. At the time portrait miniatures were extremely expensive and privately commissioned.

The high carat gold ring has an oval bezel set miniature rendered in watercolor and gouache (opaque watercolor) on ivory as a ground. This provides a luminous surface for transparent pigments and heightens the effect of the colors. An aristocratic gentleman with long brown hair is seated in a ¾ pose facing left. The head-and-shoulders portrait depicts him dressed in a white lace collar and coat. The fine detail on the paint is apparent and the colors remain vivid and sharp despite the passage of many years. Although there are a few minute scratches on the surface of the paint, it appears that many are designed as representations of the hair and of various highlights.

The face of the ring measures just less than ½ of an inch in height by 7/16 of an inch in width (1.3 cm high by 1.1 cm) and is currently sized US 7-1/4 (UK O; Euro 15). In excellent condition especially for a piece of this age. Dates to circa 1730. Fine collectible with the early use of ivory as well as the dual personality as a ring and a portrait miniature.