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Miniature Portraits

HMQ gold miniature close up.jpg

24 carat gold on nickel holographic portrait miniatures

In 2013 Rob Munday created and exhibited the world's first 24-carat gold holographic portrait miniature. Following in the footsteps of Nicolas Hilliard (1547 - 1619),  goldsmith, limner, and painter to the courts of Elizabeth I and James I, and one of the first portrait miniaturists, Rob created a gold holographic miniature of Queen Elizabeth II, and in doing so brought into being a brand new portrait medium.


The miniature hologram received its inaugural public viewing at the Royal Miniature Society's prestigious annual exhibition in 2013 and was described by both Elizabeth Meek, the President of the Royal Miniature Society, and the Rt. Hon. Michael Portillo, the Chairman of the Federation of British Artists, as ‘extraordinary and spellbinding’ and ‘the future of portrait miniatures.

A brief history of portrait miniatures

Portrait miniatures evolved during the 16th century from the work of limners when creating illuminated manuscripts. Painted onto vellum and later ivory they were first popular among the English and French elites before spreading across the rest of Europe and remained highly popular until the development of photography in the mid-19th century. They were especially valuable in introducing people to each other over distances; a nobleman proposing the marriage of his daughter might send a courier with her portrait to visit potential suitors. Soldiers and sailors might carry miniatures of their loved ones while traveling, or a wife might keep one of her husband while he was away. As small as 40 mm × 30 mm in size, portrait miniatures were often used as personal mementos, inset into items of jewellry or snuff boxes. The miniature shown is of Queen Elizabeth 1st.

Commissioned gold holographic portrait miniatures

Rob can now offer the world's first 24-carat gold holographic portrait miniatures. Firstly a special photographic shoot is conducted by Rob using the 3D camera system that he originally designed and built to shoot Her Majesty the Queen. He will then create a holographic portrait miniature of you at his studio. Completed portrait miniatures can be framed or, working in collaboration with a jeweller, mounted in a variety of unique and contemporary receptacles such as broaches, lockets, boxes, and frames. 


Rob's historical gold portrait miniature of Her Majesty the Queen on display at the Royal Miniature Society's prestigious annual exhibition, 2013. Also, pictured above.

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