The Look of Love Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection
Edited by Graham C. Boettcher. Essays by Graham C. Boettcher, Elle Shushan and Jo Manning
Published by GILES in association with the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama
Published — February 2012 (UK and USA)
Dimensions — 208 pages, 180 × 180 mm (8 ⅞ × 8 ⅞ in.)
Illustrations — 200 colour
Format — Hardback
ISBN — 978-1-907804-01-4
Press Release — The Look of Love: a visual delight
“sumptously illustrated” “[it] marks a significant addition to the study of miniatures and should appeal to a broad audience with its combination of scholarly scrutiny and fictional narratives” Heidi Strobel, Enfilade
“This new book is both fun and has sentiment befitting its subject…wonderful photographs” Sarah D. Coffin, American Society of Jewelry Historians Newsletter
“beautifully photographed…this book casts light on a small, neglected corner of sentimental jewellery that, in its personal nature, still has the power to move the reader two centuries on” Sophia Tobin, Jewellery History Today
“Cultivating a Love of ‘Lover’s Eyes’.” Eve M. Kahn, The New York Times
Accompanies the exhibition organized by the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, February 7 - June 10, 2012, featuring nearly 100 jewels from the private collection of Dr and Mrs David A. Skier.
About the Book
This stunning volume explores the little-known subject of "lover’s eyes," hand-painted miniatures of single human eyes set in jewellery and given as tokens of affection or remembrance. In 1785, when the Prince of Wales secretly proposed to Mrs. Maria Fitzherbert with a miniature of his own eye, he inspired an aristocratic fad for exchanging eye portraits mounted in a wide variety of settings including brooches, rings, lockets and toothpick cases.
Graham Boettcher discusses the history and function of lover’s eyes, as well as the language and symbolism of their jewelled settings; Elle Shushan examines their role in the broader context of Georgian and early Victorian portrait miniatures; and Jo Manning offers five fictional vignettes imagining the circumstances surrounding the creation of these extraordinary objects.