Antique miniature portraits of the Tormey-Holder Collection



English: Artist Unknown



Memento mori miniature portrait in the Tormey-Holder collection

Georgian Era "Memento Mori" Mourning Miniature

circa 1790
Artist unknown

1 11/16 x 2 1/16 inches (sight)

watercolor on ivory; housed in a 15 carat gold pendant frame

Though not yet attributable to a specific artist, this miniature is a superb specimen of eighteenth century mourning art and is an important holding within the collection. Depicted is a skull and bones atop a casket that has been placed upon a tomb. The tomb has mourning hair (presumably, hair of the decedent) to the front and sides, and a tiny curl of blond hair to the front. The casket has two family crests to the front; and in the background are cypress trees (long associated with death and mourning) and a weeping willow (representing tears and sadness).


Attribution Advice Welcomed: Do you recognize aspects of this miniature portrait that you believe should be attributed to a specific artist that we have failed to consider? If so, we welcome your thoughts and suggestions and invite you to contact us.






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