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Jade, gold, rubies, gouache, ivory, glass
Overall: 15.3 x 5 x 5 cm (6 x 1 15/16 x 1 15/16 in.)
The India Early Minshall Collection 1966.458.1
This painted miniature is one of two miniatures that were personal gifts from the tsar and tsarina to one another in 1896, a year after the birth of their firstborn child, Grand Duchess Olga Nicolaievna. The tsar gave this miniature of himself to his wife, and she gave the one of the baby to him.
The giving of miniatures had long been a common practice among wealthy and aristocratic families by the time Faberge began combining portraits with his richly decorated frames. The Russian imperial family delighted in having these personal mementos and commissioned many different miniatures to place around their private apartments, providing a warm family atmosphere in an otherwise highly formal existence.
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