Miniature Wax Portrait

c. 1850
W: 9.0" D: 2.0" H: 10.0"
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Wax is one of the earliest known mediums for portraiture. Miniature wax portraits were first invented in Italy during the 16th century and remained exceedingly popular around the world until the mid 19th century. The portraits were generally made as popular gifts in noble and bourgeois society or for disseminating and immortalizing the image of the sovereign.

This mid-19th century miniature portrait portrays the profile of an aristocratic man dressed in a dapper suit with a paper-cut ascot tie and a polished hairstyle. Mixing the wax with pigments, the original artist was able to achieve astonishingly realistic likenesses of their subject. The finished portrait is mounted on a paper backdrop and secured in a black and gold frame. With the advent of photography, wax impressions as an art form fell out of popularity making this a rare collectible.

From the collection of Frances and Gary Comer.

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