Miniature within a Miniature

Alessandro Cittadini


Painted by Alessandro Cittadini in 1847, this lady is shown wearing a portrait miniature on her corsage. The gold frame is engraved on the reverse with her name and details.

Gertrude Eleonore Emilie Nottebaum was born in Antwerp in October 1814. Her father had moved to Antwerp with his brother in 1811 where they founded a trading company to import rice, coffee and leather. Emilie married Scotsman John Mathison Fraser at St James, Piccadilly in 1833. John was a colonial broker so presumably he had business dealings with Emilie’s father. The couple settled initially in Antwerp where five of their six children were born. Later on they moved to London where their youngest son was born.

The 1881 Census shows the couple living at 1 Palace Houses – a mini mansion of 25 rooms close to Kensington Palace – with their youngest son and several house staff. Emilie died in 1887 and is buried in Kensal Green.

The portrait miniature is signed on the obverse ‘Alex Cittadini 1847’ and is in excellent condition. It is housed in a gold frame within the original folding case supplied by R. H. Halford & Sons, Jewellers of Fenchurch Street.

Alessandro Cittadini (1820-1877) was an accomplished Italian artist who worked in Genoa and Antwerp.

Item Ref. 6894

Size: framed miniature, 67 x 47mm