Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lovers Eyes

This is a small gathering of "lover eyes" tiny portraits of eyes made for a man or woman to remember their sweetheart by made in the late 18th and early 19th century. It is said to have started because Mrs. Fitzherberts and the Prince of Wales were in love but as she was a widow and catholic he could not ultimately be with her, although they did marry it was judged invalid. Thus their love affair was secret. So the portrait of her eye was made for him. They were parted but their love endured as the portrait was found around his neck upon his death in 1830.
a black enamel band usually signifies death
pearls signify tears
very unusual and probably a combination of an old brooch with a new eye
paintings are often on a thin sheet of ivory 
it is generally thought that an eye with parts of a face is a fake lovers eye as the rest of the face was not painted for anonymity. (upper left is probably a portrait miniature that was cut down to look like a highly collectible lovers eye.)

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