Custom Antique Heart Lover's Eye Locket


A custom Lover’s Eye portrait in a vintage heart locket. 7/8" x 1 1/4". Early 20th-century. Inside are windows for two paintings, which will be sealed under clear resin. The eye paintings will be custom painted for you from the photographs of your choosing (details below).

Lover's Eyes – part art, part jewel – were popular during the Georgian era from about 1785-1830. In this era before photography, telephones, and speedy transportation, the absence of a loved one was felt acutely and mementos were deeply cherished. Miniature portraits were exchanged between mothers and distant daughters, between soldiers and sweethearts, and between husbands and wives; and they were then cherished in mourning. More than miniature face portraits, the eye portraits distilled this precious intimacy even further into the pure act of seeing and being seen. Between lovers especially, wearing an eye portrait of a paramour was a way of proclaiming one's love whilst keeping the affaire de coeur clandestine.



1. Decide whether you would like to commission a custom Lover's Eye portrait in a frame (another listing), on a plate (another listing), in a different piece of jewelry (also other listings), or with this particular piece (stay here). 

2. Find the perfect photo of the subject, paying particular attention to the eye, or do a photo shoot and take a new one. The quality of the painting will depend on the quality of the photograph! Lighting is essential, so make sure the lighting is precisely the way you want it. Natural diffused light from inside is best; direct sunlight is too harsh.

3. Send an email to me, Susannah Carson, at Attach one or more of the favorite photos you just chose. If two lover's eye paintings, be sure to include photos for each eye. 

4. I'll reply and we'll go over any additional details until we both feel like I understand your expectations.

5. I'll paint. Give me 4-6 weeks to make sure I have enough time to work the portrait into my schedule and devote enough time to it. I'll try to do it as soon as I can, and I'll send ETAs when available. Feel free to check in. If this is a rush order, please message me so I can let you know immediately if I can accommodate.

6. After the painting is finished, I'll send a photo for your feedback. Since you know the subject best and I'll only have a photo or two, you'll be the best judge of whether or not the portrait has captured the right likeness. Please keep in mind, though, that this is a painting in a classical style, not a photo-realistic style, and that it certainly isn't a photo. I'll work with you until you're happy with the result, but let's both try to keep it to a couple of rounds of revisions.

7. After the main portrait has dried (4 days to a week, depending on the weather), I'll reassemble the ring. Please be advised that although I wouldn't worry in a bit of rain, I hope it goes without saying that these pieces shouldn't be submerged in water. 

8. Then I'll wrap it carefully and, with plenty of insurance, I'll send it off!


The painting is yours, but the rights of the image remain with me. I'd love it if you'd authorize me to share the painting on my social channels and in listings such as this, but I'll respect your wishes if you'd prefer I didn't.

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