A beautiful mid-19th century watercolor portrait of a lovely young woman in a burgundy dress. She wears a deep burgundy dress with a pleated bodice that dips toward the somewhat low waistline which is emphasized with a belt. Her sleeves are of the “Victoria” type: full-length and tight all the way down except at the elbow where the sleeve is full and ends with a tight cuff. Her hair has a center part and is pulled straight down from her face (pinned on each side) with two tight vertical curls framing her pretty face. We can’t see the back of her head but we can guess that her hair is plaited and twisted into a hair knot just above the nape of her neck. Her left hand is depicted without a ring showing that the lady is single. This was likely her coming out portrait. The reverse of the card in inscribed “Ann Wilkins / Febry 2nd, 1842.”
It is framed in a period frame that has been sanded down and regilded. You will find that the wood feels rather new but that is due to the sanding because everywhere that you can see naked wood, it has good oxidation. The gilding was done with gold leaf, in a water-gilded fashion over a brownish-red bole. The gold leaf seems to have been applied with a bit of crinkling which gives it a very unusual and interestingly pleasing effect. I’ve shown you some close up photos of the frame to give you a better idea of the look. Framed size is 5 ½” x 7 5/8”. She presents a very pretty package. Circa 1842.