Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Miniature
  • Miniature
    Zincke, Christian Friedrich, born 1683 - died 1767
  • Enlarge image

Miniature

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1716 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Zincke, Christian Friedrich, born 1683 - died 1767 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Enamel on copper, openwork ormolu frame with mother of pearl

  • Credit Line:

    The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.281-2008

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Made to commemorate the marriage of the sitters, this portrait of Lady Mary Brooke and her husband William 7th Baron Brooke were later set into elaborate frames. This transformed the enamels from objects for personal reflection to cabinet pieces for display. Christian Friedrich Zincke was the most successful enamel painter of his time and commissioning work from him was extremely fashionable.

In the 17th century, new techniques of painting enamels allowed delicate portraits resembling tiny oil paintings to be created. These enamel miniatures were first fashionable in continental Europe, but were particularly in vogue in Britain from the 1720s to 1760s. Enamel portraits performed a wide variety of functions. They were often given as diplomatic gifts or awarded to recognise official service. Some celebrated historical figures, while others commemorated a marriage, or departed loved one. Sitters often commissioned enamel copies alongside an original portrait in oils, in order to have a more intimate and portable version in a robust material. Enamels could also be set into jewellery or extravagant boxes so that they could be worn or carried. Larger enamels were often displayed in elaborate frames.

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.

Physical description

Oval miniature portrait of Lady Mary Brooke shown with light brown hair and wearing a green dress.The miniature is enamel on copper and the rectangular frame is of ormolu with openwork and mother of pearl decoration.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

ca.1716 (made)

Artist/maker

Zincke, Christian Friedrich, born 1683 - died 1767 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Enamel on copper, openwork ormolu frame with mother of pearl

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed 'Mary Lady Brooke'
On the frame's bone backing

Dimensions

Height: 10.46 cm, Width: 9.4 cm, Depth: 0.67 cm

Object history note

Provenance: Sale, Christie's London, lot 66, 28/06/1978. S.J. Phillips Ltd., London, 1979.

Descriptive line

Enamel miniature on copper of Lady Mary Brook, in an openwork ormolu frame with mother of pearl, England, ca.1716, by Christian Friedrich Zincke.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Coffin, Sarah and Bodo Hofstetter. Portrait Miniatures in Enamel. London: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd. in association with the Gilbert Collection, 2000. 168 p., ill. Cat. no. 62B, p.113. ISBN 0856675334.
Schroder, Timothy, ed. The Gilbert Collection at the V&A. London (V&A Publishing) 2009, p. 91, plate 71. ISBN9781851775934

Labels and date

2, 3. Miniature groups
Miniatures could be grouped to commemorate relationships. This snuffbox (2) brings together the portraits of two half-sisters, Lady Selina Dering (in blue on the lid) and Lady Katherine Guilford (in green on the inside). The two marriage portraits (3) were later set into elaborate frames.

3. William, 7th Baron Brooke and Lady Mary Brooke
About 1716
England
Enamel on copper in later gilded copper-alloy and mother-of-pearl frame
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.280, 281-2008 [16/11/2016]
William, 7th Baron Brooke and Lady Mary Brooke
About 1716

These two commemorative marriage portraits were
later set into elaborate frames. This transformed the
enamels from objects for personal reflection to cabinet
pieces for display.

England; Christian Friedrich Zincke (about 1683–1767)
Enamel on copper in later gilded copper-alloy and
mother-of-pearl frames
Museum nos. Loan:Gilbert.280, 281-2008 [2009]

Materials

Enamel; Copper; Ormolu; Mother of pearl

Techniques

Painting; Framing

Subjects depicted

Female

Categories

Enamels; Metalwork; Portraits

Collection

Metalwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.