Miniature paintings make great collector's pieces thanks to their uniqueness and rarity. Portrait miniatures were first seen somewhere around the early 16th Century, in French and English courts.
The earliest examples of miniature portraits were by two Netherland miniaturists, Jean Clouet, who was working in France and Lucas Horenbout who was working in England. Initially useful to the monarchy, these were often given away as mementoes. While there were no definitive ways of creating miniatures until the 17th Century, by the 18th Century, miniature paintings artists had experimented with the surface, the paint and the styles and techniques of creating these paintings.
Small, compact, these were popular in India in the late 18th Century as a means of families staying in touch back in Britain. The growth of photography in the 19th Century offered a more affordable, and accurate likenesses, so saw the popularity of miniatures fall.
We have a good collection of these beautiful, timeless portraits in our collection at Ogled Antiques. Our Portrait Miniatures are usually of English origin, and these original Miniature Paintings are painted on Ivory. These are searchable under Female, Gentleman and Military Officers.