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Leonard Joel

The Eye’s Have It

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The eye’s have it

‘In 1786 the Prince of Wales, later George IV, commissioned a portrait of the eye of his mistress Maria Fitzherbert, sparking off the fashion for eye painted miniature Jewellery’

The first eye miniatures appeared in France and England in the 1770s and their popularity as a token of love continued well into the 1850s. What I find fascinating about eye miniatures is that it is difficult to find two alike as more often than not, they were commissioned and not mass produced as gift tokens. The variety of eye painted objets is endless and includes rings, brooches, pendants and trinket boxes, to name a few.
There was a resurgence of eye jewellery in the 1880s and their popularity lasted through to the early part of the 20th century, as Victorians increasingly made an industry of melancholia. Eye painted miniatures as well as hair lockets, enamels and eye motif jewellery and objets were also popular during this time.

Eye jewellery remains as intriguing and romantic today, capturing the sentiment of love and devotion from a bygone era.

John D’Agata
National Head of Jewellery

 


ENTRIES INVITED AUCTION MONDAY 3 SEPTEMBER 2018

Enquiries
John D’Agata
National Head of Jewellery
03 8825 5605 | 0408 355 339
john.dagata@leonardjoel.com.au

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