Appreciating miniature marine art in motley objects

by | Jan 7, 2020 | Marine Art

Generally speaking, people tend be more impressed by things that are large than by similar things of smaller scale. Thus, a mansion is likely to draw more attention and plaudits than a bungalow; a limousine more than a compact car; and a cruise ship more than a catamaran. Yet, size does not — or should not — matter when it comes to art. One only needs to look more closely to appreciate the beauty embodied in the smallest of objects.

Miniature Ship, 1700–1800
Height: 2 1/8 in. (5.5 cm); made of ivory
Maker/artist: unidentified
Photo and text courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Miniature Inro with Design of Firewood-laden Boats on Waves, 19th century
Height: 1 7/8 in. (4.8 cm); width: 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm); gold maki-e with mother-of-pearl inlay on black lacquer; netsuke of hardwood with cloisonne
Made by Shibata Zeshin (Japanese, 1807–1891), copied from a design by Hon’ami K?etsu (Japanese, 1558–1637)
Photo and text courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

View of a Harbor, ca. 1750
Diameter 3 1/8 in. (80 mm); verre fixé
French Painter (ca. 1750)
Photo and text courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Engraved Scaraboid with Protesilaos on the Prow of a Ship, 400–350 B.C.
2.2 × 1.5 × 0.7 cm (7/8 × 9/16 × 1/4 in.); cornelian
Photo and text courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California

Pendant in the form of a siren, European, probably ca. 1860
Height: 4 3/16 in. (10.6 cm); baroque pearl with enameled gold mounts set with rubies
Photo and text courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Snuffbox with six maritime scenes, 1770–71
1-1/4 x 3-1/16 x 1-7/8 in. (3.2 x 7.8 x 4.8 cm); gold and paper
Maker: Dominique-François Poitreau (apprenticed 1741, master 1757, retired 1781)
Miniature by a French painter, after a painting by Joseph Vernet (French, 1714–1789)
Photo and text courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

~Barista Uno

The Marine Cafe Blog

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