Rare Antique French Sentimental Mourning Hair Art Work DOG & Tomb
A rare antique early 19th century French mourning hair art memento. Sentimental miniatures, like sentimental jewelry, reached a height of popularity in the late Georgian era / French Restauration period. A touching souvenir or token of remembrance dedicated to mourning of loved ones. Entirely crafted from hair, the superb artistry is evident in the careful placement of the formed and finely chopped hair in shades of blonde and brunette atop a painted 'sky' background with rolling hills in the distance. The imagery is quite symbolic of mourning iconography, depicting a tombs set under the overlapping (embracing) branches of weeping willow trees. Exquisitely formed from the locks of loved ones. In the center, guarding the tomb, is a loyal hound dog, sitting in waiting with a forlorn expression. A symbol of eternal fidelity and loyalty. Rarely seen in mourning hair art is imagery of the dog, very difficult to find and highly sought after. Suspended above is a pansy flower, symbolizing remembrance and thoughtfulness. To either side are tombs and gravestones below weeping willow trees with shields dated September 10th 1797, the other dated March 10th 1817. Almost 20 years apart. Ones contemplative and beloved thoughts are inscribed throughout the scene. A touching inclusion is on consolation, as one was there to offer consolation for the departed who passed years earlier, but who will offer consolation now that both are gone? Truly a perfect example of such 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. The scene is in very good condition, having been encased protectively under a convex / dome glass. Having a decorative gilded brass trim and housed within a wooden frame. In good condition general wear commensurate with age. The frame has a tight split at the top, visible in the pictures. Backed by an old paper backing, lacking a loop or ring for hanging. Frame measures 5 1/4" square.