John Haslem (British, 1808-1884) Two portrait miniatures of a Brother and Sister; the former, wearing blue square-necked dress, his blonde hair worn short and parted to one side; the latter, wearing plain white dress, her hair centrally parted, plaited and tied with brown ribbon bows
Lot 120
John Haslem
(British, 1808-1884)
Two portrait miniatures of a Brother and Sister; the former, wearing blue square-necked dress, his blonde hair worn short and parted to one side; the latter, wearing plain white dress, her hair centrally parted, plaited and tied with brown ribbon bows
Sold for £1,187 (US$ 1,939) inc. premium

Lot Details
John Haslem (British, 1808-1884) Two portrait miniatures of a Brother and Sister; the former, wearing blue square-necked dress, his blonde hair worn short and parted to one side; the latter, wearing plain white dress, her hair centrally parted, plaited and tied with brown ribbon bows
John Haslem (British, 1808-1884)
Two portrait miniatures of a Brother and Sister; the former, wearing blue square-necked dress, his blonde hair worn short and parted to one side; the latter, wearing plain white dress, her hair centrally parted, plaited and tied with brown ribbon bows.
Painted on porcelain against grey backgrounds, gilt-metal frames.
Oval, 35mm (1 3/8in) high (2)

Footnotes

  • From the second decade of the nineteenth century, off-the-shoulder dresses, as seen in these four portaits, became fashionable for infants of both sexes. These garments were intended to fortify children by allowing for a greater physical freedom; however, in this instance, their openness and delicacy also contribute to the sense of the fragility and innocence of the sitters evoked by Haslem.

    Whereas children had previously been viewed as adults 'in little', the nineteenth century marked a metamorphosis in contemporary views of childhood with an increasingly celebratory emphasis being placed on the offspring in the family. The child's perceived inherent goodness was therefore frequently highlighted by social commentary and miniatures depicting young sitters often accentuate this widespread notion (A. Kurtz Lanzing, American Miniatures of Children 1770-1950; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 2005, p.12).

    The high infant mortality rate was likewise responsible for the rapid growth in portrait miniatures of children, the transience of both the phase of childhood itself, often coupled with the brevity of the very life of the sitter, being a particular impetus behind the commissioning of such likenesses.
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