Remarkable in many aspects, this portrait miniature is what is often referred to as a lover's eye miniature. For in-depth information please see our “Reference Section” under “Helpful Terms”.
This piece is memorial in nature; the partial image of a woman has been painted against a sky background symbolizing her passing. Rendered in watercolor upon ivory, a close-up of the upper left quadrant of her face is depicted. A suggestion of her nose, her eye with brow engaging the viewer and, adding a touch of softness is a fringe of raven curls caressing her forehead and temple.
Constructed of gold with a tightly woven braid of hair inset at the border, the frame is exceptional. At the top is the Ouroboros, an ancient symbol for the eternal cycle of renewal. Here a gold snake head, inset with a tiny red stone, devours its own tail. At intervals there are three reeded bands of gold. On the reverse the rose gold mount is otherwise simple with original "C" clasp, pin and tube hinge intact. The brooch measures 1 inch (2.6 cm) in diameter and 1/8 of an inch (0.4 cm) in thickness. Has a weight of 6.1 grams. The piece is in mint condition with the miniature most likely untouched as neither the glass nor the miniature appears to have been removed or disturbed. Dates to circa 1820 and is English in origin.