Portrait of a Lady

  • Unidentified, Portrait of a Lady, 1800, miniature in relief (wax), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Edith Coon Carr, 1966.4.2

Luce Center Label

In the 1780s, women began wearing large mobcaps, which were made out of gauze or net. In this miniature the woman’s ruffled cap covers her entire head and has a large mauve bow in the front and a smaller one in the back. The artist portrayed the woman in profile to highlight the diamond earring that twinkles against her shawl. Her slight smile suggests she expected to be admired for her jewelry, which symbolized her wealth and status.

Luce Object Quote

“Good wax portraits are hard to find. Bad ones, fresh from the maker’s hand, are as plentiful as cigarette advertisements.” Anonymous quote in Antiques, May 1923

Portrait of a Lady
On View
Not on view.
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bequest of Edith Coon Carr

Mediums Description
miniature in relief (wax)
  • Portrait female – unidentified – profile
  • Portrait female – unidentified – bust
  • Dress – accessory – hat
  • Portrait female – unidentified – elderly
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI