List Price £4,000
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This very fine plaque is painted in enamel on metal and hails from the great centre of enamel art of Limoges in France.
The painting is after a famous portrait of Frances Stewart, the Duchess of Richmond, by the artist Henri Gascar (French, 1635-1701). The original work was painted in 1675 and depicts the sitter as Minerva, Roman goddess of wisdom and strategic warfare (Greek equivalent being Athena), shown holding a lance and with a classical building in the background. The cracks from the original work have been expertly painted in to further mimic the original.
The plaque has part of a faded label stuck on to the reverse reading 'Duchesse de Richmond' and is housed in a a fine ormolu frame with patterned border and surmounted by an eagle sat on floral garland atop a crown.
Frances Stewart, the Duchess of Richmond and Lennox (English, 1647-1702) was a famous figure from 17th Century England, best known for rejecting the King Charles II, who wanted her as his mistress. The Duchess was renowned for her good looks and was fondly known as 'La Belle Stuart'. Her depiction was used on commemorative medals symbolising an idealised feminine image of Brittania, and as recently as 2006, the Duchess appeared on the British 50 pence coin.
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