A Charming Mid 18th Century Oval Bone Pendant Portrait Miniature of a Lady


Origin: Flemish
Period: Mid 18th Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1760
Width: 3.4 cms
Height: 5.3 cms
Depth: 0.7 cms

The bone pendent having a hand painted provincial lady, head and shoulders to the front, marked and signed verso “Poland...?Vd. Weyden. MW.” We believe MW to be the artist and V.D Weyden the rather elegant sitter. There is a bored hole present to the top of the pendent, which would have attached it to a necklace or other piece of jewellery. Swept-up hair demanded important earrings and low necklines were filled by day with pendants such as this.

The sitter herself has a regional folk disposition to her appearance with her eyebrows and brow itself being particularly interesting of note. She has a rather quizzical yet relaxed expression and has certainly been painted to appear young and attractive, with pale skin and fine clothing.

During the Baroque and Rococo periods, portraits became even more important records of status. Although this portrait is more naive, rococo artists, who were particularly interested in rich and intricate ornamentation, were masters of the more refined portrait. Their attention to the details of dress and texture, as we see here in the jewel encrusted sleeves and bodice, increased the efficacy of portraits as testaments to worldly wealth.

This is a purely intricate, tactile and beguiling piece of both early continental portraiture and jewellery.