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Ref  EB6  Mazarinette

A rare combination of a slide with an integral locket compartment, circa 1680. The practice of painting portrait miniatures in enamel developed out of the decorative work of goldsmiths and watchmakers in the French cities of Blois, Châteaudun and Paris. In the 1630's Jean Toutin adapted existing techniques to make subtle colouring and delicate detail on enamel miniatures possible. Small jewels were ideally suited to this technique and many were decorated with portraits and mythological or allegorical scenes. This locket slide is painted on the obverse with an enamel portrait of Marie Mancini, with the decorative initals MM surmounted by a coronet to reverse.

Anna Maria [Marie] Mancini [1639 – 1715], was one of the five Italian Mancini sisters, nieces of Cardinal Mazarin, who were sent to France to marry advantageously. The Mancini sisters were known at the court of Louis XIV as the Mazarinettes. Marie captured the highest prize at the French court, the love of the youthful Louis XIV. Apparently her mother had been warned in a horoscope that Marie would cause trouble and on her death bed demanded that Cardinal Mazarin shut Marie up in a convent and keep her there. It is thought that Marie did not consummate her relationship with the Sun King and that his love for her was youthfully besotted and idealistic. Eventually Cardinal Mazarin and the young king's mother banished Marie into exile and arranged Louis's marriage to his cousin Maria Theresa of Spain. Marie married an Italian prince, Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna but the mariage was not a happy one. Marie left her husband and died in obscurity. Here she is portrayed as a typical lady of fashion from the 1680's. Her coiffure has a centre parting with a mass of tight curls on either side and her dress has a low, broad neckline and full sleeves. The slide measures 1 and 1/8 inches by one inch and is completely original, well executed and extremely rare.

sold


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Three Nieces of Cardinal Mazar
Portrait of the Mancini Sisters , Marie [left], Olympia and Hortense



 

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