Antique Portrait Miniatures from Piccolo Art
Portrait art and its selling was the topic of discussion at the October meeting of the Edenton Tea Party Chapter Nancy Christman Reilly of Piccolo Art has lived for two years in Edenton and before that, for thirteen years in England. For six years in England, she was an auctioneer and valuer "

" In England Nancy, obtained an MFA from the University of Manchester after she had obtained her BS from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
Nancy has been a dealer in Portraits and Portrait minitures for six years explained that Piccolo Art is a dealer specializing in antique portrait miniatures and small portraits from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Whether starting a collection, or added to an existing one, Piccolo Art offers portrait miniatures and small portraits, with the emphasis upon aesthetic appeal and historic interest. For centuries people have been interested in the portrait miniature for many reasons — perhaps one of the most important being that the miniature has always stood apart in the field of portraiture. Unlike the wall portrait, which by its very size was meant as a public object, designed to flatter the sitter, or impress the viewer, the portrait miniature was initially conceived for quite different reasons. The “picture in little” (as they were sometimes called) was a private expression of one’s self, often intended for the eyes of a single loved one. This reason alone imbues the miniature with a level of poignancy and intimacy often missing from conventional portraiture. In many cases, the portrait miniature may be the only real likeness existing of a person. Not surprisingly, the miniature may be beautiful or plain, compelling or evocative. The birth of a child was one of the reasons why a miniature would be commissioned. Miniatures were also routinely given to solidify a declaration of love or bestowed at the time of an engagement or marriage. It is not unusual to find a miniature with a “hair catch” to the back which contains a lock of the beloved’s hair.


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