Curls & Plaited Hair

John Miers


The late eighteenth century fashion for voluminous curls must have presented silhouette artist John Miers with a challenge but he mastered the technique of thinning the black pigment to painstakingly render each curl in detail. The blackness of his plain profiles contrasted well against his choice of white base.

This profile shows a young lady wearing a dress with a light fill-in, her hair arranged in soft curls. The silhouette is signed Miers under the bust-line and is set in the original gold pendant frame with a circle of plaited brown hair. The reverse is also glazed. The pendant comes with its original silk-lined travelling case.

John Miers (1758-1821) first advertised ‘profile shades in miniature’ from his home town of Leeds in 1781 at a cost of 2s 6d apiece. These were secondary to his main business of preparing and selling paints but such was the success of his profile painting, that he auctioned off his stock of paints and utensils to become a full-time profilist travelling to major towns and cities to extend his clientele. In 1791 Miers moved to London where he set up what was to become a successful and long-running profile studio on the Strand.

Item Ref. TS9035

Size: framed, 60 x 52mm + case