Wednesday, April 25, 2012


aren't these antique eye portraits so cool? i saw them on miss moss and had to share. not only are they amazing to look at, but the story behind them is just as interesting. lover's eyes are handpainted portraits painted on ivory, popular in england between the 1780's and 1830's. in an age where marriages were more about convenience than love, affairs were commonplace. obviously commissioning an entire portrait of your lover was out of the question, but wearing a small part of their person, the eye, showed eachother loyalty.

The Smithsonian cites “one of the earliest known eye miniatures was painted in 1786 by the English artist Richard Cosway for the Prince of Wales, later King George IV. The miniature showed the eye of Mrs. Fitzherbert, the prince’s mistress.” And since just the eye of one’s lover was visible, the piece could be worn while your inamorata’s identify remained secret. It’s also been theorized that the “single eye also symbolized the watchful gaze of a jealous partner, who feared that his or her lover might stray.”

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh I love these. I spotted them on Miss Moss a while back, too, and I just think they're the coolest thing!
    xo Heather


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