Lady from the Soper-Rackham Family
A particularly personal and appealing miniature showing a mature lady in a blue Empire-line dress trimmed with fine lace and worn with a white ruff collar fill-in with a small gold brooch on her corsage. Her cap is tied under the chin and is decorated at the front with tiny white flowers. Over her shoulders she has a delicate lace shawl.
The portrait is set within an unusual papier-mâché frame and surrounded by four inset roundels each glazed to reveal plaited hair surmounted with a gilt monogram. The colour of the hair pieces range from light blonde to mid-brown and are probably love tokens from the lady’s children. The reverse side of the frame is backed with old leather and has a hinged door fastened with a C clasp. Upon opening, a thick plaited lock of the lady’s dark brown hair is revealed. The date 1820 has been scratched into the leather.
Watercolour on ivory. There is a tiny spot of paint loss to the right of her face (as can be seen on the image). The original hanging ring has been replaced.
Item Ref. 4196
Size: 161 x 146mm (6⅜ x 5¾")
Provenance: Family descent within the Soper-Rackham family (William Soper married illustrator Arthur Rackham's daughter)