It took me all of one second to grab this one at an antiques show last weekend and not let it go—quite an unusual one as far as I’ve seen in terms of combining braided hair wreath with such an elaborate watercolor. Perhaps a mourning piece, but feels to me much more like a celebration of friendship or sisterhood, perhaps created as a valentine/love token of sorts. I especially love the watercolored stick pin tethering the stem of the rose at the bottom left corner of the paper in a trompe l’oeil sort of fashion, and the tiny rose buds extending from the E and E and S! It appears likely to have been done across a two page spread in a notebook, and then stored for some time with perimeter edges folded under such that there is toning along them, but it also appears to have lived in this 19th c. frame for quite a long time, with hardened clear tape holding down the corners. I love the effect of all of it, making it feel all the more like a miraculous survivor!
Framed: 9 1/8” x 11 1/2” framed. Paper: 8 9/16” x 6 1/2”. Aging as evident but stable and I think all the more special for it.