Unique and rare, this authentic antique lover's eye brooch is the first one The Three Graces has presented in more than two years.
It is not only an exceptional portrait with its realistic and finely rendered eye, it is unusual to have an item of clothing or hair accessory, i.e., the white and blue bonnet frills to the left.
The later Georgian era was noted for its sentimental and romantic overtones in jewelry and the arts. Objects of beauty were admired not only for their esthetic appeal, but were enhanced by deeper meaning, emotion and symbolism.
History of lover's eye jewelry points to the late eighteenth century when the entire image of a secret love or inamorata was too risky to reveal. Consequently, only the eye and sometimes the brow was depicted, thus keeping the identity secret.
Miniature portraits of lover's eyes evolved and soon included acknowledged loved ones as well as family members and those who have passed from this mortal coil.
This particular lover's eye brooch is from the Victorian Romantic Period when sense and sensibility ruled. It is exceptionally realistically painted onto ivory using watercolor and gouache. The left eye and brow of a woman is emphasized with the upper portion of her nose and brown hair accented with bonnet frills.
The miniature painting is placed in an oval frame of 9 to 10k yellow gold with a heart motif and ribbon-like border. To the reverse is a glass covered locket with a braided sprig of blonde hair streaked with brown.