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The Look of LoveEye 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

News  —  Look of Love opens in Minneapolis in May

            —  Look of Love opens for Valentine’s Day

Sales Points

"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, 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.

About the Author(s)

Graham C. Boettcher is the William Cary Hulsey Curator of American Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art, where he oversees the collections of American fine and decorative art before 1945. Elle Shushan is among the world’s foremost dealers in American and European portrait miniatures, and works with many of the leading private and public collections of miniatures. Jo Manning is a romance novelist and the author of My Lady Scandalous (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a biographical account of the royal courtesan Grace Dalrymple Elliot.