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COLLECTION OF FOUR PORTRAITS OF EYES, CIRCA 1820 AND LATER Comprising: an asymmetric heart-shaped brooch, containing a miniature depicting a gentleman's right eye, with brown iris; a rectangular brooch, inset with a portrait miniature of a gentleman's left eye, with blue iris; a pear-shaped pendant set with a miniature of a gentleman's right eye with brown iris and miniature of a lady's right eye with brown iris, to a repoussé frame, circa 1830, all painted on ivory

ENAMEL AND SEED PEARL BROOCH/PENDANT, CIRCA 1810, THE OVAL MINIATURE OF AN EYE WITHIN...

Lot | Sotheby's

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Eye portrait (Lover's eye), circa 1800 Brooch Originally created as intimate tokens of affections between lovers or families, the first of these was thought to have been commissioned in the 1780s by the English Prince Regent for his lover Mrs. Fitzherbert. They were popular in England and France, but rare in America. After 1800 eye portraits often were associated with mourning and fell out of fashion by the 1840s. Gold, glass, watercolor The Henry Ford Collection

It is said that in the 18th and 19th centuries, wealthy british and european lovers exchanged ‘eye miniatures’ - love tokens so clandestine that even now it is almost impossible to identify their recipients or the people they depict. They were meant to be worn inside the lapel, near the heart.

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