This is an incredible site. I'm learning a lot about these precious items. The first time I saw one was on one of the Russian Princesses in the Lifetime version of "War and Peace" a week ago (2/16) and wondered about it. Thank you! - Norah McKinney, Mon, 15 Feb 2016 3:59PM
Wonderful items, but collecting is prohibitive because of the astronomical prices these beauties sell for. Even your run of the mill (if you could ever call one that) would cost in the thousands. You surely have a museum quality collection that is to be envied. - Robert | http://robtnar.wordpress.com/, Fri, 15 Nov 2013 6:18AM
Wow. This site is incredible. As a jewelry student this is such a valuable resource for inspiration and historical reference. I really have to say this is the best jewelry site I have ever been to and I follow over 100 jewelry blogs! =) - Vanessa, Wed, 30 Jan 2013 3:25PM
This is an absolutely beautiful collection, thank you for sharing. - diane, Fri, 4 May 2012 7:30PM
outstanding interest - Lyle Rexer, Thu, 8 Mar 2012 1:47PM
Expressive brown female eye miniature, watercolor on ivory, set in a modified heart motif surrounded by garnets.
2 Stunningly beautiful eye miniature pendant surrounded by pearls and with a pearl bail. Expressive brown eye with rare peek at lady's hair. Back compartment with braided hair.
3 This eye miniature brooch is a wonderful painting on ivory of a woman's eye. Gold and pearls. Dated 1845.
4 Georgian eye miniature enameled mourning ring. Neo-classical design with two urns poised horizontally on the shank. The face panel has an outer rim of black enamel with finely looped gold inlay in a continuous pattern. The center chamber features a beautiful painted eye miniature. Inscription on the inside of the ring is too faint to read, but you can make out the date of 1817. [Sold]
5 Side view of the ring.
6 View of the neo-classical urn.
7 Georgian period eye miniature mourning ring dated 1780. Photo provide courtesy of Lenore Dailey of Lenore's.
8 Side view of the ring showing fine enameling. Photo provide courtesy of Lenore Dailey of Lenore's.
9 Inscription: Lady Lucy Douglas Died 13th Feb. 1780 Age 28. Photo provide courtesy of Lenore Dailey of Lenore's.
10 eye miniature ring circa 1800.
11 Eye miniature pendant--hand-painted on ivory and set in 18K gold. C early to mid 1800s. Back of pendant has a compartment for hair. Chain is not original. I believe it to be French from the design of the frame. The reverse side opens as a locket and may have contained a lock of hair at one time. The pendent measures 1 inch long by 7/8th inches wide.
12 Combination pin/pendant eye miniature surrounded by pearls and with removable pearl bale, circa 1820. Back compartment with blond hair and inscribed: Anne Dodsworth Died Jan 13, 1876 Aged 75. [sold]
13 Eye miniature set in ivory patch box Georgian Circa 1790
Ivory patch box with rare full face eye miniature hand-painted on ivory framed by a band of rose gold.
Box is 3/3/4" x 1 1/4" and the portrait (which is superb) is 1 3/4" x 3/4". Hinged box has a velvet lined interior with a mirror inset into the lid.
14 Another photos of the patchbox.
15 Georgian ivory patch box with eye Circa early 1800s
Oval ivory patch box with an eye miniature painted on card.
16 Eye miniature painted on ivory. I think this is a man's eye. Back has replacement pin catch.
17 Eye miniature pin painted on ivory dated 1785 set in 18K gold. Inscription on reverse "OB 6 Mar 1785 at 53."
18 Pin in original leather box.
19 Box, showing size.
20 Eye miniature pendant of a woman's brown eye with a few soft curls framing it. You can see it is a large size from the quarter sitting next to it -- almost 1 inch across. It is beautifully painted with fine detail. It is uncommon to find an eye of this size. It is mounted under a beveled glass and set in a pendant mounting.
21 Eye miniature handpainted on ivory of a beautiful woman with a hazel eye, surrounded by brown curls. Mounted in gold shell pendant. Note the direction the eye will hang when worn.
22 Back of eye miniature pendant. Enameled flower and "In Memory Of." Engraved on the bottom: "Edw.d Lantsbery died 12th Oct 1849 aged 4 years." Engraved on the top (probably added later): "M Lantsbery died Dec 26th 1857." I assume M. Lantsbery is the woman in the picture.
23 Eye miniature C. 1820
Light blue man's miniature eye, hand painted on ivory, set in a yellow gold round pendant mounting, surrounded by wire strung seed pearls. Shows signs of an old repair on back. Suspended by chains from an added rectangular hair brooch, which is surrounded by split seed pearls. The hair pin has some separation in the metal on back. O rings have been added to the hair pin so it can be worn as a pendant.
Eeeww, cat hair in picture....
24 Eye Miniature Memorial Brooch c 1817
Rare Georgian eye miniature commemorating the death of the popular Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, only child of George IV, who died after giving birth to a stillborn child in November 1817. The miniature features the Princess's eye and a wisp of her hair, with clouds to the right. It is set under crystal in a gold and foil backed garnet frame and inscribed to the reverse ' Ps Charlotte'. It measures 1 and 1/8 inches by 1 and 1/8 inches and is in completely original condition.
25 Back of pin showing engraving.
26 Eye miniature hand-painted on ivory surrounded by a double row of pearls. Brown eye of a lady with brown hair painted down the side of her face. Circa 1820.
27 Eye Miniature Portrait Gerald Sinclair Hayward (1845-1926), a Canadian miniature painter who was working in New York when this was painted Dated 1905
Late for eye miniatures, it is dated 1905 and is also quite unusual that it is a man's eye.
Each line of the face, brow, nose and complexion is worked in almost ultra realism. His blue gray eyes fixed to the side.
Also fascinating to note that the artist chose to border it with a surround of black paint, then actually paint another border which looks like tousled hair. The ivory is then set beneath glass and into a gilt metal pcture frame, with velvet back and small paper roundel. It is mounted at this point for hanging in a shadow box, or on a watch stand, but could be worn as well.
On the bottom are the initials "GSH" and the date of "1905". This measures just over 1 3/4 inches long by 1 3/8 inches across.
28 Close-up showing signature and date.
29 Next to a ruler.
30 Eye miniature Circa 1800
An enigmatic enamel eye in the overall eye shape referred to as a shuttle shape, used only for a few years around 1790-1800 or a touch later.
The enameled eye is surrounded by a row of pearls. It measures 1 1/16 inches long by 9/16 inches high, so is quite petite. It is set into rose gold. The eye is blue, with tiny lashes and detail down to the corner of the eye, and lifelike skin and all. A touch naïve and so personal.
Its condition is good, but not perfect as there are a few surface scratches on the eye. The pearls are a lovely gray green, all appear original although always hard to be certain. The hinge base has had a reinforcement with silver solder.
31 Another view of the enigmatic eye.
32 Georgian eye miniature ring Circa 1800, English
Beautiful eye miniature painted on ivory in a tear-drop shape, surrounded by natural pearls.
33 Georgian eye miniature brooch Circa 1830
Round eye miniature of a female blue eye with hair painted on ivory under rock crystal. Gold frame is enameled in white with natural pearls set in a wheel formation.
Ivory has a fracture and bail appears to have had work done to it or has been replaced.
34 Georgian eye miniature brooch Circa 1820s
Eye miniature painted on ivory set in 18K gold enhanced by blue enamel. This lovely lady is a rarity due to her red-gold hair. A lock of hair is encased in the locket in the back.
35 Back of the eye miniature showing the lock of hair.
36 Eye miniature pin Victorian C. 1850s
Mourning eye miniature of a grey-brown female eye hand painted on ivory, mounted in a black enamel-trimmed brooch in a ribbon motif.
37 Eye miniature pin Georgian C. 1820s
Interesting kidney-bean shaped gold pin frame with a brown eye and curls painted on ivory.
38 This page from a Sotheby's catalog is shown in Vivien Becker's book, Antique & Twentieth Century Jewellery on page 95. "Five examples of the painted eye miniature, one kidney-shaped, another excircled by a gold serpent. From the Heckett Collection." Sold at Sotheby's in 1977.
I believe that my kidney-shaped eye is from this collection.
39 Eye Miniature pendant Georgian C. 1790
Blue eye hand-painted on ivory under faceted glass with foiled garnets and white enamel marked IL DON DE L'AMITE.
Pendant is hinged at the top and there is a compartment on the back.
Some damage to the enamel.
40 Eye Miniature Pendant Circa 1830-1840
Magnificent miniature of a blue eye painted on ivory surrounded by brown curls and covered by a raised crystal. The entire piece is approximately 1 1/2" across; cannetille gold set with Persian turquoise and garnets with a pearl set in the pendant bail; compartment in the back is for hair, though empty; painting is incredible, much finer than most and very representative of Henry Bone.
41 Close up of the eye.
42 Back of eye pendant showing hair compartment.
44 Eye Miniature painted on ivory Georgian C. 1790
Blue eye miniature hand painted on ivory under ovoid rock crystal with foiled garnets and pearls frame, hinged at the top, surmounted by a pearl-set flower motif and bail. (see pg 35 Romero 3rd)
45 Back of eye locket
46 Eye miniature handpainted on ivory Georgian C. 1800
Gorgeous blue eye with brown curls set in gold. Approximately one inch in diameter. [Sold]
47 Back of eye miniature.
48 Eye Miniature Mourning Ring Georgian Circa 1800
Blue eye miniature on ivory painted in the clouds with black enameling on the surround and shank. See Georgian Jewellery by Ginny Reddington Dawes, pg 164.
50 Another view of the eye.
51 Side view showing enameling.
52 Back of ring.
63 Full face eye miniature C. 1820-1830
Rare, full face eye miniature, two brown eyes and brown hair, watercolor on ivory in oval mounting with graduated pearls, pearl bail; some slight paint damage.
64 Eye miniature with pearls and enamel Possibly American C. 1820s-1830s
Navette-shaped pendant of a blue eye, watercolor on ivory with enamel and pearl surround.
65 Another picture.
66 Eye miniature pendant set in Scottish agate sphere Georgian C. 1820s-1830s
Blue eye miniature painted on ivory set in gold and encased in a sphere of various colors of Scottish agate.
74 Eye miniature, watercolor on ivory Georgian
A tiny fichu pin, circa 1800. gold, pearl surround, measures 2/3 of an inch by 2/3 of an inch in total. Watercolor miniature on ivory of a female eye with blue iris, wisps of brown curl to side. Original, lovely quality painting and immaculate.
75 Eye miniature brooch Georgian C. 1820-1830
Lovely blue eye miniature surrounded by pearls and garnets.
76 Back of eye miniature with lock of hair.
77 Eye miniature on ivory Attributed: American Circa 1820s
Unusual hand-painted eye miniature as the ivory wafer has been retained with the central painting. Woman's brown eye and left side view of face, surrounded by clouds. Set in a period correct frame.
78 Back of frame.
79 Eye miniature in heart-shaped mounting
81 Back of eye miniature
Repair to bale and o-ring
82 Eye miniature ring Georgian Dated 1816
High-carat gold ring, dated 1816, a chased shank with floral design, to which is set a watercolor on ivory miniature of a female eye, under crystal. The ring is engraved to reverse AG 24 May 1816. The ring is size J [US 5 and 1/2] and original. [Sold]
85 Eye miniature pendant c. late 1700s
Lovely brown eye miniature on ivory with blond curls (blond hairwork in back) set in a heart-shaped pendant with amethysts and faceted rock crystal.
86 back of pendant with (very!) blond hair.
90 Eye miniature on ivory c. 1830s
Hand-painted miniature of a left hazel eye on ivory in heart-shaped pendant, hallmarked 15 ct, hair enclosed in back.
91 Back of pendant.
92 Eye miniature on ivory c. 1795
Handpainted eye miniature, left brown eye with surrounding curls mounted in 14K navette-shaped brooch, blue enamel and seed pearlssurrounds.
95 Eye miniature Georgian C. 1830
An unusual diamond-shaped setting for this brown eye miniature hand-painted on ivory with a pearl surround and bale.
96 Georgian Eye Miniature Circa 1840
Superb and rare eye miniature painted on ivory of a child's half face painted in the clouds. Set in high carat gold. Inscribed to reverse : Isa Murray 1810 Married Jas Denniston 1835.
Most likely a child of this marriage who died.
We were not able to open the brooch as it has been soldered shut....
A learned group specializing in portrait miniatures believes this is a girl and the artist may be John Cox Dillman Engleheart (1784-1862), nephew of George Engleheart.
98 Eye miniature with tear Edwardian Circa early 1900s
Lovely woman's eye miniature painted on card and set in a 14K frame inset with pearls.
99 Back of eye miniature with hair.
100 Eye miniature Georgian Circa 1820
Handpainted on ivory, a brown eye set in 14K gold with a pearl and garnet surround.
101 Eye miniature hand-painted on ivory Circa 1790
Light blue eye hand-painted on ivory, modified heart with garnet surround and bow.
102 Eye miniature with elaborate jeweled frame Georgian Circa late 1700s
Georgian eye miniature painted in watercolor on ivory wreathed with garnet and turquoise pansies, pearls, and hair on the reverse.
From Kyle Karnes: The social role of this eye miniature in sentimental reverie may be seen in the contemplative symbolism of the stones and flowers. From the French word pensée, the pansy is a pun meaning “think of me.” The turquoise, owing to its color, was symbolic of the flower, “forget-me-not,” and the pearls symbolized tears.
103 Back: blond braided hair and closed back settings
107 Mourning eye miniature English Circa 1820
Eye miniature brooch surrounded by diamonds set in black enamel and with a split pearl border.
108 Mourning eye miniature English Circa 1800-1820
Fabulous mourning miniature with brown eye and curls with diamond tear and clouds surrounded by pearls w/ hair on back
111 Eye miniature pendant locket Georgian Circa 1810-1820
Brown eye hand-painted on ivory, with dark curls, surrounded by cinnamon-colored foil under diamonds, rock crystal cover, woven hair in back.
112 Eye miniature pendant locket Georgian Circa 1810-1820
Woven hair in back.
113 Eye miniature pendant Georgian Circa 1780
Hazel eye miniature hand-painted on ivory, set in 18 K yellow gold under rock crystal, elaborate white enamel surround with "A Token of Love" on surround, c 1780, woven hair in back. Heart-shape is typical of eyes painted during this time frame.
114 Eye miniature pendant Georgian Circa 1780
Back of pendant showing woven hair.
116 Eye Miniature Circa 1790
Eye miniature circa 1790, brown eye with curls on top in heart-shaped frame with garnet bow and 3 garnets set in white enamel band with saying "Aimez Qui Vous Aime" fantastic hairwork in back compartment
117 Eye Miniature Circa 1790
Back of eye miniature showing hairwork
118 Eye Miniature brooch Circa 1820-1830
Eye miniature hand-painted on ivory, hazel eye floating in the clouds, surrounded with black enamel and gray seed pearls set in 12 K yellow gold.
119 Eye miniature Circa 1820s
A watercolor on ivory miniature of an eye with brown iris in blue clouds. Plaited brown hair to reverse.
Measures 1 and 2/3 inches including bale, 1 and 1/3 inches excluding bale and one inch wide. Immaculate, lovely quality, has never been out of the frame.
120 Eye miniature Circa 1820s
Hard to get the coloration accurate in the photos. A watercolor on ivory miniature of an eye with brown iris in blue clouds. Plaited brown hair to reverse.
121 Eye miniature Circa 1820s
A watercolor on ivory miniature of an eye with brown iris in blue clouds. Plaited brown hair to reverse.
122 Eye Miniature English Circa 1820
Georgian eye miniature, handpainted watercolor on ivory. Unusual front view of two brown eyes, blond hair set in navette-shaped high-carat gold frame.
123 Eye miniature pendant English Circa 1820
Georgian brown eye miniature with side curls, handpainted watercolor on ivory, oval 15K gold pendant frame with graduated split pearls, blond braided hair in back compartment.
124 Eye miniature pendant English Circa 1820
125 Eye miniature Georgian Circa 1820s
Georgian eye miniature oval brooch handpainted atercolor on ivory, woman's blue eye w/ blond side curls, double row of split pearls, 12K
126 Eye miniature pendant Georgian Circa 1790s
Georgian eye miniature pendant, brown eye with hair to right, modified heart-shaped frame, enameled white on edge and marked "Ce Depost M'est Precieux", blond braided hair in back, circa 1790s
127 Eye miniature pendant Georgian Circa 1790s
128 Necklace of eye portrait miniatures Circa 1790s
Mounted on a contemporary chain, 13 eye portrait miniatures, handpainted watercolor on ivory. All set in high carat gold, many with hair stored in compartments in the reverse. This modified heart-shaped frame was common in the late 1700s.