This is a splendid and rare antique Victorian ormolu and hardstone double portrait miniature frame, circa 1880 in date.
This magnificent portrait miniature easel frame is rectangular in shape with superbly engraved and pierced foliate decoration.
The front of the frame features a pair of luxurious onyx doors which feature exceptionally carved hard stone floral and foliate ornaments. The details of such decoration are truly remarkable – we can see how carefully the craftsman has planned the composition if we look at the various shapes and colours of the petals and leaves. That they succeeded in doing so with the medium of semi precious stone is quite extraordinary.
The two attractive doors open to reveal a pair of charming miniature oval frames that are against a delightful bottle green velvet background.
It is supported by a sturdy and robust easel stand.
This unusual piece is highly collectable and decorative. It is a true piece of artwork which is sure to get noticed wherever it is displayed.
In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 17 x Width 21 x Depth 9
Height 30 x Width 21 x Depth 9 – With doors open
Dimensions in inches:
Height 6.7 x Width 8.3 x Depth 3.5
Height 11.8 x Width 8.3 x Depth 3.5 – With doors open
Ormolu – (from French ‘or moulu’, signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as ‘gilt bronze’.
The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.
Our reference: 09853