Beyer, Johann Daniel - portrait of Louis Dietz

Although not an outstanding artist, this miniature is by Johann Daniel Beyer and is signed on the upper left, 'Beyer f(ecit) 1809' There may be another letter after the 1809, but if so, it is difficult to read. He is also referred to as Jean-Daniel Beyer and is believed to have been born in 1785 and died in 1846.

Schidlof comments of Beyer;
Born in Alsace. Miniaturist and lithographer, pupil of Urbain Jean Guerin. He worked in Strasbourg from about 1820 to 1840 and did portraits of numerous personalities of that town. Average artist, whose works, executed in a fine "pointille", easily become hard and lack colour.

In her dictionary Natalie Lemoine-Bouchard located an earlier example by him signed 'Beyer f 1810'. Thus this example being dated 1809 seems, at present, to be the earliest known miniature by Beyer.

This miniature cost GBP 80, but later works by him have sold for higher prices. In 2008, Bonhams sold a miniature of a young lady named Anna Geither and dated 1839, for GBP 720. Pretty ladies always sell for more than young men!

On arrival here the glass over the miniature was very dirty and although a signature could be seen it was unreadable.The back was covered with pasted down paper, so it was a little difficult to decide whether to cut through the paper to remove the internal dust, clean the glass, and determine the signature.

Thus three images were taken of the reverse before opening it. Some of the writing was also unreadable, but here are enhanced images of the three sections. Although it was not as obvious before reading the signature, it was found that the top section includes the 'Bayer 1809', presumably an earlier reading of the signature of the artist.
The upper and  and lower inscriptions are too hard to read but refer to Dietz and appear to support the main inscription which seems to read;
Granpapa Louis Dietz de Reibeauville (Ribeauville) epouse de Sophie Laemermann .... Strasbourg. 

Ribeauville is a small town with a population of around 5000 people and about 70 kilometres south of Strasbourg. Given the date of 1809 and his apparent age, suggests Louis Deitz was born in 1788, with the miniature celebrating his 21st birthday. So far, it has not been possible to identify the family any closer, but any interested genealogist is welcome to leave relevant comments if they are able to identify the family. 1477

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