Saturday, October 22, 2011

Last Chance to see Special Exhibition of Royal Sitters and Annual Exhibition of the Royal Miniature Society

The 2011 Royal Miniature Society Annual Exhibition is an even more thrilling spectacle than usual this year, with not only a stunning array of talent from living artists, which is reflected in the increased sales of exhibits, but an historic display of miniatures of members of the British Royal Family over the last 450 years or so.

Viewing the Annual Exhibition, which ends 1.00 p.m. on Sunday 23rd Ocober.

Iain Gardiner receiving the Mundy Sovereign Portrait Award 
from President, Elizabeth Meek, with Dr. Stephen Lloyd,
 who opened the Exhibitions, to the right, and Bill Mundy on the left.

The nephew of the winner of the Gold Bowl Award proudly receives his Uncle's trophy and gamely makes a gracious speech.

List of the Special Loan Exhibits - an historic sight with some fabulous and rare miniatures on display for the first time.

Curated by Richard Chadwick, the Special Exhibition has been a huge success and talking point. A few onlookers cheekily asked if any of the exhibits were for sale!  The beautiful Exhibition Catalogue, in full colour, wonderfully researched and written by Richard Chadwick, is a marvellous consolation prize. At only £10 a copy and with the preface written by HRH The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of the Royal Miniature Society, it is a must-have catalogue for all miniature lovers.  All the proceeds from the sale of the catalogue go to the Prince's Drawing School.  

If anyone wishes to buy a copy,  and is unable to attend the Exhibition where it is on sale, please email us on and we shall put you in touch with Richard. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Weeping Glass - a rare disorder

The ideal glass covering for a miniature is thin convex glass.  This
allows a good view of the miniature and protects it from dust and
damage caused by glass rubbing against the paint and possibly sticking
to it and lifting it  (as when flat glass is used). We have seen examples 
where flat glass has rubbed the ivory and damaged the painting.

Side view of a miniature frame showing curvature of the glass

 Flat glass is only used when there is a metal or cardboard 'slip' 
that separates the painting from the glass, 
usually when a miniature is contained in a travel case.

An example of a miniature with a mount and flat glass.

There is an uncommon condition called 'Weeping Glass' that is
caused by faulty manufacture of the glass.

 At first glance,
it might look as though the glass is 'misty' or very dusty, but on
closer inspection one can see that on the underside of the glass there
is a thin film of condensation! If old glass contains 20-30 percent
sodium or potassium, it may have 'glass disease' where the glass
weeps and begins to break down.

Amazingly, this fine mist of water droplets
 cannot be eradicated through cleaning, drying or any other
method that we know of!  And as it poses a huge threat to the
wellbeing of the miniature it has to be removed and discarded
immediately, however inconvenient.

Annual Exhibition and Special Exhibition - The Royal Miniature Society Opens 10th October

The winning entry for the prestigious Gold Bowl award was Mirage by
Ihtesham Hassan from Pakistan.  He paints in oil on vellum and
watercolour on vellum and his remarkable miniature can be seen on  Over 700 exhibits will be on
display in the beautiful Mall Gallery during the two weeks of the
annual exhibition,  Many of the wonderful exhibits are
for sale, encompassing portraits, animals, wildlife, still life and
all things miniature.  A fantastic way to spend a morning or afternoon
(or some money on a purchase!) for anyone who will be in London over
the next two weeks.

Also there is a stunning display of miniatures from
private collections of british royal personages over of the last 400
years from Elizabeth I to date.