Hand painted miniature portraits were the predecessors of photographs. When there was no other way to record a likeness of someone, the miniatures were treasured and passed down in families. Some portrait miniatures were painted of a specific person, and others were of classic style beauties rather than a particular real person. Often, these pieces were made into jewelry and worn as decoration, such as our brooch. The Victorians loved to hearken back to earlier periods in time, and their love of classic literature and legend encouraged artists to produce paintings and illustrations depicting their favorite characters.
We believe this brooch showcases a rendition of Tristan & Isolde, possibly after the painting by Herbert Draper (1901). A well-loved story of a beautiful Irish princess betrothed to an English King and the knight who she fell in love with, "Tristan and Isolde" has all the plot twists and romantic embraces any well read Victorian could hope for. This example is a large brooch with a C clamp fastening, and has an expertly painted illustration of a gorgeous woman with long flowing hair swooning in the direction of a virile knight. The vivid colors, attention to detail and romanticism make this wonderful piece a real treasure, sure to be enjoyed and admired for many more generations to come.
Dimensions: 67mm x 54mm
Weight: 49.1 grams
Materials: Gold, hand painted enamel on metal with counter-enamel
Metal: 9K yellow gold
Condition: Excellent antique condition