Until the early 2000s, little had been written about eye miniatures or “Lover's Eyes”, and their short-lived popularity at the end of the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-centuries, when hand-painted portraits of single human eyes were set in jewelry, or created to memorialize a deceased loved one. This volume examines their role in the broader context of Georgian and early Victorian portrait miniatures; and looks in detail at the creation, and appeal, of these extraordinary objects. Dr and Mrs. David A. Skier’s collection of eye miniatures is one of the most complete collections of this genre of miniature painting in existence. This volume features over 130 pieces from the Skier Collection, with 36 extraordinary newly acquired pieces, including two of the three known existing “Lover's Lips”, and six examples of a delightful sub-category known as “Flower Eyes”. There are illustrated essays on forgeries and fakes of lovers’ eyes, on “Flower Eyes”, on the persistence of the eye image which continues the tradition of lovers’ eyes, and an essay on the eye miniatures created by Richard Cosway.
Collectors’ Preface by Nan and David Skier; Acknowledgments by Elle Shushan and Graham C. Boettcher; The Artist’s Eye by Elle Shushan; The Intimate Gaze: Eye and Mouth Miniatures Painted by Richard Cosway by Stephen Lloyd; Symbol & Sentiment: Lover’s Eyes and the Language of Gemstones by Graham C. Boettcher; Floriography by Elle Shushan; Fake or Fashion by Elle Shushan; Love Never Dies by Graham C. Boettcher; Catalogue of the Collection compiled by Graham C. Boettcher, Nan Skier and Elle Shushan, with the assistance of Laura Wallace and Maggie Keenan; Index; Contributor Biographies
"Lover’s Eyes, a new catalog on eye miniatures, lets us peer at one of the most extensive private collections of these weird and wonderful 18th- and 19th-century works—most of which stare right back."—Anne Wallentine, Artillery Magazine
A very complete, accessible overview of one of the most intriguing jewellery types of the last centuries, that should definitely be on the shelf of anyone interested in Georgian and Victorian jewellery, sentimental jewellery or European jewellery!"—Sigrid van Roode, bedouinsilver.com