Pair of 18th-Century Miniature Portraits
Appraised Value: $9,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:01)
Senior Vice President and Head of the American Decorative Arts Department
GUEST: This is my great-great- great-great-grandparents, Mary Dark and Joseph Ike Manning. They were from Virginia. They were born around 1770. He lived till he was about 46 and she lived till her 60s. And they've been passed down through my family for generations, and that's about all I know about them.
APPRAISER: What I love about these miniatures is that they're 18th-century miniatures, and in my business, we see more 19th-century miniatures. And they're quite beautiful. You see her costume and the beautiful dress and the bonnet. And he, too, with his beautiful tie and stoic expression. They're really well done and they're very intimate pictures. And they were probably made as wedding gifts to each other.
APPRAISER: What's so nice is that they have remained together. Often we see splits, and it's very different to see a pair of miniatures. Another element which I really like about them is that they're from Virginia. They're wonderful examples and very typical of 18th-century miniatures. I don't recognize the hand, and if they were to come to auction, I would catalog them as American School. Singularly, each miniature would be worth about $2,000 to $3,000, but as they're a pair, I would give them an insurance value of about $9,000.
GUEST: Really? That's great.
APPRAISER: They're really lovely, and I think that they're obviously a key to a good marriage. They've stayed together for near... for more than 200 years like that. Okay. Now, one thing that strikes me; if you wouldn't mind taking off your glasses. 'Cause you look so similar. I mean, there's a very strong family resemblance that has remained throughout. You look exactly like him.
APPRAISER: Well, thanks for bringing them in today.
GUEST: Thank you.
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