For Love & Remembrance


This beautifully rendered profile of a curly-haired gentleman wearing a coat with a deep collar and large buttons is painted in black with the addition of light grey transparency for the patterned stock and Chinese white to outline the coat buttons and lapels. The technique of scratching out with a needle has been used to add texture to his curls and side-whiskers.

The silhouette is set within a circular gold-plated locket frame with a handsome verre églomisé border painted in royal blue, pink and gold. The reverse of the hinged locket is also glazed to reveal masterful hairwork on a card base: central is an intricate love knot in two shades of hair interspersed with delicately painted pansies in purple and yellow to symbolise love and remembrance. (Pansies were often added to love potions.) This is enclosed by a woven chain of brown hair to symbolise unity with a further band of hair in two shades beautifully woven in a ribbon effect.

The circular shape of the locket suggests this is a Continental piece. The painting and the hairwork are in immaculate condition; there are a couple of scratches to the front glass and the hinge is detached at one side but the only real dilemma with this piece is which way round to wear or display it!

Item Ref. TC501

Size: 58mm diameter

Provenance: Acquired for the Christie Collection in July 1948 from Perkins