Portraits of 1800s Women Antique Lithographs Gilt and Velvet Frames

Regular price $ 175.00


  • Antique item

This charming pair of antique original lithographs on paper was printed from limestone blocks and colored by hand. Each is a three quarters length portrait of a pretty 19th century woman dressed in high-waisted bodices, woven straw hats and each wearing a cross Jeanette on a chain around her neck. Each woman is set against an oval background of ecru and is part of a series entitled "Fräuleins" drawn by Johann Friedrich Füchslin (1801-1857), listed in the Benezit Dictionary of Artists as a Swiss portrait artist active in Bern. Quite a few examples of this series are in the Schwab museum in Biel, Switzerland. The lithographer was the French artist Francois Grenier de Saint-Martin (1793-1867), who is also listed in the Benezit Dictionary and was awarded the Légion d'Honneur in 1841.

The identifying printed marks are located to the bottom left and right of the portraits, just below the striped line. The type is in a very pale gold, difficult to photograph but we were successful. One of the signatures, indicated by the white arrow in one of our photos, reads "Grenier Lith {Lithographer}." The other reads "Fuchslin del." {"drew" in Latin, indicating the original artist.} While our framer had the lithographs out of their frames, adding acid-free backing, fresh dust paper and new coated hanging wires, we photographed them, both to get close-ups and because the frames obscure the above information.

The wooden frames are lovely and with their oval cut-outs complement the lithographs very nicely. They are not as old as the prints but definitely have some age to them. There is a gilt inner fillet that is surrounded by a caramel colored velvet mat, which in turn is surrounded by gilt beading and concave frame. They are reminiscent of miniature porcelain portraits in style. The framed size is 9 1/2 inches by 11 inches and they project from the wall 2 inches. The sight size of the lithographs is 6 inches by 7 1/2 inches and they each weigh one pound ten ounces.

Both frames are in very good condition, with some light chipping and denting, part of which was deliberate to distress and age their appearance. There is no color loss to the velvet and no corner separations and the glass is intact and unscratched. Both of the lithographs are in good condition, with the one of the woman dressed in red and blue having some foxing (brown spots). The print of the woman dressed in yellow and blue has overall toning of the background, which means that it is slightly darker. There is also a water stain upper left, which thankfully is covered by the frame. As you can see they display beautifully together.

These antique lithographs look wonderful in both country and formal settings. Provence, anyone?

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