For in and out, above, about, below,
‘Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Play’d in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.
(Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, quatrain 46, c. late 11th or early 12th century)
SOLD. This jaw-dropper of a piece is an 18th-Century, Georgian Era, 10K gold, navette-shaped, mourning, silhouette, stick pin that has a hair locket to the back and a memorial inscription that reads: "Eleanor Jones ob: 14th Aug.st 1782." It was painted and signed by John Miers (1756-1821), one of the most famous of the English silhouette artists of his time. He was also one of the most prolific and it's said that copies of over 100,000 silhouettes were found in his studio upon his death in 1821. You may wonder how this is possible considering the time it would have taken, but Miers’ silhouette artistry was such that the average portrait took five minutes or less according to advertisements found on the back on his pieces. At the time when Miers painted this silhouette early in his career, c. 1782, the practice of silhouette artistry involved hand-painting them on various materials including paper, porcelain, plaster, ivory, and glass. Of course, silhouettes were also cut out of blackened paper, a technique that goes back to the 17th century. According to @artofmourning, one of the earliest known, English, scissor-cut silhouettes was a profile of William and Mary dated to 1699 made by cutter Elizabeth Pyburg. Further, silhouettes were referred to as "shades" or "black shades" until 1832 when the term "silhouette" first came into use, so technically, the piece discussed here would have been called a "shade" during its time. For more information about this stunner, see the listing in my shop or DM for Instagram pricing. #mourning #mourningjewelry #mourningjewellery #mourningpin #silhouette #blackshade #johnmiers #mourningsilhouette #18thcenturyjewelry #georgianengland #georgianmourning #georgianjewelry #georgianjewellery #georgianstickpin #antiquejewelry #antiquejewellery #antiquestickpin #antiquetiepin #hairjewelry #mourninglocket #jewelryaddict #jewelryaddiction #jewelryforsale #rubaiyat #jewelryhistory #portalsoftimevintage