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The Look of Love : Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection, Hardback Book

The Look of Love : Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection Hardback

Edited by Graham C. Boettcher


This lavishly illustrated volume explores the fascinating and little-known subject of "lover's eyes," hand-painted miniatures of single human eyes set in jewellery and given as tokens of affection, or created to memorialise a deceased loved one.

According to popular lore, the phenomenon began in 1785, when the Prince of Wales secretly proposed to Mrs. Maria Fitzherbert with a miniature of his own eye. This romantic gesture inspired a fad among the aristocracy for exchanging eye portraits mounted in a wide variety of settings including brooches, rings, lockets and toothpick cases.

This new book accompanies an exhibition by the same title organised by the Birmingham Museum of Art, the largest exhibition of its kind to date, with over 98 examples drawn from the private collection of Dr. and Mrs. David A. Skier of Birmingham, Alabama. Graham Boettcher discusses the history and function of lover's eyes, as well as the language and symbolism of their jewelled settings; Elle Shushan examines their role in the broader context of Georgian and early Victorian portrait miniatures; and Jo Manning offers five fictional vignettes imagining the circumstances surrounding the creation of a selection of these extraordinary objects.




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