Exhibit Focuses on Rare Portrait Jewelry

In What's New, Industry News by Lauren Parker, Accessories Magazine

Birmingham, AL—With cameo portraits, monograms and initials back in the spotlight, here’s a look at a personalized, yet quirky, aristocratic jewelry trend from the past.

“Look of Love: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection” will be on exhibit at the Birmingham Museum of Art  through June 10.

It started in 1785 when the Prince of Wales secretly proposed to Maria Fitzherbert, using a covert miniature of his own eye. This inspired an aristocratic fad for exchanging eye portraits. Pieces ranged from brooches, rings and lockets to toothpick cases.

The show features almost examples of this lost art, now the collection of Dr. and Mrs. David A. Skier. There are believed to be 1,000 pieces still in existence.

Since the images are so mysterious, the show adds a fun twist. Novelist and biographer Jo Manning offers five fictional vignettes imagining the circumstances surrounding the creation of these objects.

For more information about the exhibit, click here.



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