Silhouette Pendant

John Miers


Master silhouette artist John Miers preferred the simplicity and grace of a black profile without the addition of gilt embellishment. His black profiles contrast well against the white base with costume details achieved by thinning the black pigment to add texture.

This profile shows a mature lady wearing a dress with a frilled fichu, and a lightweight cap trimmed with ribbon. The silhouette is signed Miers under the bust-line and is set in a gold pendant frame with a seed pearl surround, the reverse also glazed to show a lock of blonde hair with gold wire and seed pearls laid on pink foiled opalescent glass.

John Miers (1758-1821) first advertised ‘profile shades in miniature’ in 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. TS9033

Size: framed, 37 x 28mm

Provenance: UK Private Collection