Adorable folk watercolor on card portrait miniature of a young girl. She wears a greenish-blue dress with a straight neckline, wide overturned collar and lace trim. The waist of the dress has a deep V, following the styles in the 1840s of adult women. Her sleeves are short and tight. She wears a strand of coral beads around her neck and wears her hair in ringlets. She holds a pink rose in one naïvely painted hand. In the other hand she holds what appears to be a flat brim straw hat with a floral band. She is really enhanced by the lovely and very unusual papier mâché frame with a stunning morning glory and foliate brass hanger and surround. The floral and foliate design of the brass surround makes the frame come alive. The back of the frame bears a partial handbill saying
NEAR THE SCHOOL,
fully soliciting your patronage begs to
that he has
NED HIS TRAVELLING S
Fitted up with every requisite for taking
For one Shilling and upwards
Obviously, these are partial words. I do wish I had more to work with. I cannot find a portrait miniature artist named Braunston. I did, however, find that Braunston is a town or county in England. So, I'm now thinking that the artist was set up near the school, in Braunston....not that the artist's name was Braunston. I'd love any information from anyone who discovers something different. As you can see by the image of the unframed portrait, there are a few tiny spots in front of her at about 3 o’clock and directly above her head. The one above the head is mostly covered by the brass frame bezel. The frame is period but not original and the portrait was likely cut to fit this frame. As the unframed image shows, there is a faint oval portal toned into the paper. I really can’t imagine the frame it might have been in because the oval is not centered over the sitter, nor is it centered on the card...but it obviously was in another frame for at least a short time (the toning in the oval is very light--so light that I didn't notice it until editing the images). Framed size is 5 1/4" x 4 1/4". Unframed size is 2 1/2" x 2". She's really a doll! Circa 1840.