History of Lover’s Eyes

Every now and then I come across an image that starts an obsession of learning. In this case, I was supposed to be prepping for some upcoming videos when Melissa, our Nunn Design Graphics Talent, shot me a link to these amazing pieces of jewelry that are referred to in present day as “Lover’s Eyes.”

According to an article that I found online at the Salon, experts believe that there are fewer than 1,000 of these “eye miniatures” that have survived. Most were created between the 18th and 19th centuries by wealthy British and European lovers. The Salon asks curator Dr. Graham Boettcher,

The original idea was that, by only showing an eye, these miniatures would effectively conceal the identity of the person who was shown, right? This way, the miniatures could be worn or exhibited publicly?”

“Exactly. Only someone with really intimate acquaintance — a lover, a spouse, a close family member — would recognize an individual’s eye, so they could be worn in a more open way.” -Dr. Graham Boettcher

I love everything about these beautiful treasures. I hope you enjoy them too. To read more about them enjoy this article online by Salon | The Secret History of “Lover’s Eyes”

girl-eye
(Source: buzzfeed.com via georgianjewelry.com)

guy-eye
(Source: buzzfeed.com via georgianjewelry.com)

ANTIQUES1_SPAN-articleLarge
(Source: nytimes.com)

Feb7_eye
(Source: artfixdaily.com)

eye
(Source: artofmourning.com)

ivory-eye-brooch2-500x328
(Source: quintessenceblog.com)

item19_rendition_
(Source: loveisspeed.blogspot.com)

AR-130209235
(Source: buffalonews.com)


Who would you wear?

Can you see yourself sporting a Lover’s Eye brooch? Whose eye(s) would be staring out from your piece? Or would it be a secret crush?


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One thought on “History of Lover’s Eyes

  1. R. A. Williams says:

    I have painted a few for my living history portrayal of 18th century miniature portrait artist. They are attention-getters!

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