A Precious Eye of a Lady, 1890. This miniature of watercolor on ivory is set in a gold and onyx bracelet with a beaded gold border. It came into the Royal Collection via King George V. Possibly a gift from his wife, Queen Mary or something he purchased on his own.
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.
An Antique English Victorian Eye Miniature Brooch, circa 1840 15K yellow gold, formed as a wicker basket with two twisted rope handles, applied with a flower set with a cabochon turquoise, the leaves and petals set with rose-cut diamonds, the back mounted with a circular portrait eye miniature of a gentleman’s three quarter partial profile with a brown eye and curly brown hair under glass. The illustration shows both the front & back of the piece.
A gold pendant, circa 1820, containing a watercolour on ivory miniature of a female eye with brown iris and brown curl. The eye is set amidst clouds, symbolic of mourning. The pendant measures 1 and 1/8 inches by 3/4 of an inch. The painting is well executed on this completely original Georgian eye miniature. sold
Portrait of a Right Eye, English, about 1800. Philadelphia Museum of Art. In the 18th & 19th c, wealthy lovers exchanged “eye miniatures”—love tokens so clandestine that even now, in the majority of cases, it is impossible to identify their recipients or the people they depict.