Antique Napoleon III era French Mourning Hair Art Memento Sentimental Miniature Portrait, Tomb, Weeping Willow, Daughter & Father
An incredible antique 19th century French hair art mourning memento portrait. Sentimental miniatures, like sentimental jewelry, reached a height of popularity in the late Georgian era / Napoleonic era. Entirely crafted from hair, the superb artistry is evident in the careful arrangement of formed and finely chopped hair in shades of blonde and brunette atop a painted 'sky' background. Depicting the image of a daughter at her father's tomb. The canopy of a three-dimensional weeping willow tree above the tomb. A lady sits beside the tomb, writing a devotional message to her father "A mon père! un jour viendra..."/ "To my father! A day will come..." To the left are cypress trees, symbolizing immortality, elevation, hope and mourning. Foliage sprinkle the ground just below the tomb, including a lone pansy flower representing remembrance and thoughtfulness. A lovely piece, the imagery is of superb sentimental quality devoted to a cherished loved one. The scene is in good condition with general wear. Encased protectively under a convex / dome glass. Prong set in a decorative gilded metal surround. Measures 3 3/4" diameter. Truly a perfect example of mourning artwork, popular in the early 19th century when photography was in its infancy and costly. This item would have been a keepsake intended to exist throughout a lifetime, much the same as a photograph today would be. So popular, specialty shops devoted to this art medium were once throughout Europe, and France, grand fabriques d’ouvrages en cheveux where artistes-dessinateurs spent countless hours expertly working hair commissioned into flowers, curls and braids, and/or rarely sceneries such as this one to memorialize or express devotion.