EXQUISITE MINIATURE PORTRAIT ON IVORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN A JEWEL-ENCRUSTED GILT-FILIGREE FRAME
LINCOLN, Abraham. Portrait on ivory. No place, circa 1860s. Oval ivory portrait, measuring 2-1/2 by 3-1/4 inches, handsomely framed in gold-toned filigree frame with inlaid semi-precious stones; handsomely velvet-matted and framed, entire piece measures 7 by 8 inches. $2800.
Beautiful watercolor-on-ivory miniature oval portrait of Abraham Lincoln, wonderfully framed in gilt-filigree with inset semi-precious stones.
This is likely a commemorative/memorial miniature portrait owned by one of President Lincoln's many admirers. Miniature portraits date back to royal courts of the 15th century, but quickly became a fashion for non-royals. In the early 18th century, Bernard Lens became the first British artist to paint on ivory. Such painting became a pastime of the wealthy, though major artists remained engaged in the art. While the pictures were executed in watercolor, artists innovated and discovered that the addition of more gum arabic led to richer, deeper creations that credibly imitated oil paint (V&A Museum). Lincoln, due to his tragic death, became a popular subject with people hanging mementos like this one in their homes. "The introduction of photography greatly lessened the demand for small portraits. However, it was not long before the superior artistic merit of the miniature began to awaken in discriminating persons a new interest in this type of painting, and in the latter part of the 19th century an important revival of the art took place" and interest in miniatures remains strong even today (Lincoln Lore).
Slight wear to portrait along edges of frame. Very nearly fine condition.