February 2011 - wax miniatures by Ethel Frances Mundy

Last year a most appealing wax portrait by Ethel Frances Mundy (1876-1964) was acquired for this collection, see View The miniatures by Mundy are very rare and that was the first one I had ever handled.

The sitter was identified and hence, which made it even more special. Hence, it was initially a hard decision when I was contacted by the family of the sitter. However, when I found out that the sitter was still alive, it made it into an easy decision and the miniature is now in the possession of the sitter.

That, however, left a gap in the collection for such a special artist!

So when an opportunity arose to acquire two other miniatures by Ethel Frances Mundy, it was an opportunity not to be missed.

The two are earlier examples of her work. They are unsigned and the sitters are unknown. The smaller one of a child holding a puppet is 5 1/2 inches in diameter and the larger one of a girl sitting on a chair is 6 inches in diameter.

The smaller one is fractured into several pieces, but they are not obvious and it would be possible to restore the miniature.

Neither has a glass cover, and it is hard to see any obvious signs to show there may have been a glass cover originally.

The biography of Ethel Frances Mundy by Anna Wetherill Olmstead illustrates a number of miniatures by Mundy. Those after about 1930 show the date in Roman numerals, and are signed.

There is one dated 1923 in Arabic numerals, is signed, and shows the names of the sitters.

As the pair shown here are unsigned, unidentified, and undated, I think they must be early examples from around 1920.
The detail of the children's shoes shows the attention to detail, even with her early work.

Nevertheless they are a delightful pair and are welcome to fill a gap for such a rare artist. 1408a, 1408b.


  1. Absolutely fascinating! Thanks for sharing these. I enjoyed going back to the earlier 'view' and reading about Ethel Frances Mundy's process for making wax miniatures.