August - Six additions

A small group of five miniatures of significant historical figures were acquired from a single seller for this collection. Also acquired was an interesting self-portrait on enamel by a Swiss artist.

The group of five miniatures comprises three European and two American.

The first is a miniature portrait of Tsar Alexander II by Ivan Winberg. For more see; View Winberg was a Court painter in Russia and painted portraits of Alexander I, Nicholas I, as well as this one of Alexander II. The Hermitage Museum has a miniature of Alexander I in its collection.

A pair of miniatures portraits, depicted the second daughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Alice who married Prince Louis of Hesse. The case of Prince Louis is inscribed "Louis of Hesse / 1st July 1862 / From Alice and Louis / Xmas 1862" with that of Princess Alice inscribed "Alice / 1st July 1862 / From Alice and Louis / Xmas 1862".

Thus they appear to have been intimate Christmas gifts, perhaps as a thank-you for wedding presents from July 1862. Although one might expect there to be other similar examples in existence, so far none seem to be known. For more see; View

Also two miniatures, both believed to be portraits of the actress Lillian Russell. For more about them see; View

Self-portraits always seem special and this miniature self-portrait on enamel by the Swiss miniaturist Marceline Emilie Lafontaine-Saran (1839-1892) is no exception.

There are several self-portraits in this collection, but this is the only one painted in enamel.

Painting in enamel is an especially demanding technique, as the colours need to be applied separately and they change colour during the process of firing in a kiln. For more see; View

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