November - Collecting Decorative Miniatures

Apologies for a late post. Although the main aim of this collection is the "pursuit" of interesting "genuine" miniatures of "real" people, I do sometimes get diverted by unusual or better quality, "decorative" or copy miniatures of real people who are interesting and much more affordable than would be the originals!

The group here shows that an interesting collection of decorative miniatures can be assembled of interesting sitters, of an affordable quality above that of most decorative copies.

The first two appearing here are such copies. They represent Empress Eugenie of France View and Eugene Beauharnais, View the stepson of Napoleon via his mother Josephine Beauharnais, whose husband, Alexandre Beauharnais View was sent to the guillotine in 1794.

Additionally showing are some other better quality decorative miniature copies which also seemed sufficiently interesting to add into the collection. They were acquired around the same several years ago, but have not previously been added into the website display.

The first two will be readily recognisable as Leonardo da Vinci and a 20C miniature copy of "La Giocondo" by the Italian artist, Pittrice E Melocchi of Florence. See also View 1338, 1339

Decorative copies are also seen in the next two examples. One is of James VI of Scotland/James I of England who was the monarch when the two kingdoms were united. Again, a miniature copy of a previous portrait, but unusual in this format and well painted by an unknown artist. 1336

The other one is even more unusual, as it is a miniature wax portrait copy of this earlier portrait of The Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, (Spanish: Carlos I, German: Karl V., Italian: Carlo V, Dutch: Karel V, French: Charles Quint; 24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558). He was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.

The miniature was sculpted by Nina Jemmett-Browne of Oxford, England, and exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1913, just before World War I. 1337

The Market Place
Those "banksters" with big bonuses to spend, may be attracted to some valuable miniatures currently offered for sale, see Big Things in Little Packages The offerings by Bonhams include a jeweled gold and nephrite imperial presentation snuff box, with a diamond-set monogram of Tsar Nicholas II, from circa 1890 (estimate: £80,000-£120,000) !!!

For those interested to see exhibitions of miniatures, there is currently one in Madrid which runs until 26 February 2012, see Las diminutas obras del Prado and also one at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington which runs until13 May 2012, see Mementos | National Portrait Gallery

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