Seeing you makes me happy
A Georgian patch box, circa 1800, to hold face patches to be worn at court or an extravagant ball. It is set with an original eye miniature which is most unusual, an eye in dark clouds symbolic of mourning, expertly executed in charcoal and under a domed crystal. The miniature is signed by the artist on the obverse – Fecit [by the hand of] followed by two indistinct initials. The gold frame is enamelled in royal blue in the shape of a garter. The colour and garter shape would suggest that this is an eye miniature of a Knight of the Garter, Europe’s oldest order of chivalry. It is inscribed in gold lettering : Nel mirarti è il mio contento : Seeing you makes me happy. There are very neat 19th century repairs to the four corners of the box. The mirror within is original and the velvet lining was redone at some point during the 19th century. The box measures 4 inches by 1.5 inches and the eye miniature measures 1 and 3/4 inches by 1 and 1/3 inches. A rare and charming piece.
Georgian face patches