Star-crossed lovers must occasionally hide their glances in the dark.

In the 18th century, a commoner named Maria Fitzherbert captured the eye and heart of George IV, Crown Prince of Wales. Six years older than the future king of England, twice-widowed, untitled and Catholic, Maria would not under ordinary circumstances be an object of desire for such a prestigious figure as he, yet upon a chance meeting in court one day, it's said the prince fell madly in love. 

Their union was forbidden: star-crossed and unsanctioned by his father, the king, whose word became law and who refused to accept her into their home. Infatuated beyond reason, young George sought to change his father's mind until the barrier of his title seemed so insurmountable, he ceased for a time. 

But it was only a matter of time before George could tolerate living apart from his beloved Maria.

In 1785, the prince sent a parcel containing a miniature painted portrait of his eye wrapped by pearls and dangling from a golden chain, along with a letter pleading with Maria to become his wife. 

The birth of the Lover's Eye.

Two portraits face one another in sepia tones: a white man with dark, curly windswept hair and a soft face, large nose, and high-necked black coat faces an elegant 18th century woman with poofy, powdered white hair and a soft, rounded white face. She swears a dark gown with a lacy white neckline, a hand thoughtfully pressed to her cheek.

 Though reluctant at first to break societal convention as well as her sovereign's will, Maria accepted George's proposal within the year—enclosing a miniature painted portrait of her own eye tucked inside a locket that he would keep close for the rest of his days. 

But this is not a tale of happy endings—after all, we are fallen aristocrats here. 

Like Joséphine and Napoleon, these star-crossed lovers experienced a tumultuous lifelong affair, enduring betrayals and heartbreak, insults and years of court drama. Yet like Napoleon, when George went to his deathbed, it was with a letter of Maria tucked under his pillow. And it's said that when he was buried, it was with her Lover's Eye resting upon his chest. 

Throughout the end of the 18th century and into the 19th, Lover's Eye jewelry swept across Europe, fitted with precious jewels to honor adored ones both living and long-past. It was a flirtation and a promise, a keepsake in times of war and a declaration in eras of peace until they fell out of fashion in 1820. 

Yet as with all lost movements, these objets d'art would inevitably gain new life. 

When we sought to revive this Old World art, our design came about with careful thought toward a contemporary audience. We played with materials and various eye shapes and colors until we established our original collection of pendants and brooches still available to this day!

How It's Made

The art of Lover’s Eyes dates back to eighteenth century England, when the eye of a loved one was painted in watercolor on linen paper, then placed under glass with a decorative frame to be worn as a brooch or pendant always near the heart. Our process is similar! We work with a local Savannah artist to create custom, miniature portraits of an eye based on details and photographs provided. 

Using pencils first to develop the shape, she then paints a photo-realistic eye using delicate watercolors to match skin tone and color, which is then set by our jeweler on a frame of brass coated in antiqued gold. Surrounding the pendant or brooch will lie a ring of stones—carnelian or otherwise. Then for a finishing touch, our jeweler lays a piece of antique fabric over the back to add texture and color behind the precious painting.

As well-seasoned world travelers and lovers of history and culture, we do our best to ensure a variety of skin tones, iris colors, facial features, genders, and races are included in this collection—a particular detail we are always interested in expanding. And if for any reason you don't see yourself represented, we take custom orders!

Against a soft green sofa, a white-skinned woman

As Seen on Bridgerton

In the first season of the breakout Netflix period drama, Bridgerton, a character named Marina wears a Lover's Eye pendant featuring the miniature portrait of her forbidden love's eye. 

We don't want to spoil what happens, but rest assured this piece stands out at her debut ball where she meets Colin Bridgerton for the first time! Encased in pearls and delicately crafted as the 19th century pieces that inspired it.

Our finished pieces hold the same, romantic effect as these historical pendants, but if you'd like a truly unique charm, we have custom paintings available to order.

A Black woman with medium-brown skin and soft, reddish cheeks gazes to the right beneath a tower of dark, perfectly coiled curls. Around her neck lies a pearl-studded chain and a vertical pendant with glass pearls around a portrait of a white man

Custom Portrait Design

Our highest hope has always been to offer custom pieces designed after your own beloved's gaze—a feat we've achieved with the help of a local Savannah artist.

Each custom piece starts with a photograph and description, detailing the eye you wish to capture forever in paint and gold. It can be a lover, a parent, a child—someone precious to you. Once collected, the photo and details are passed to our artist who renders the piece with care. 

Order your piece horizontal or vertical, encrusted in pearls, carnelian, tiger's eye, or other gemstones—an instant and perfectly unique Old World family heirloom.

A young toddler with white skin, blue eyes, and soft white-blonde hair wears a blue smocked dress and an oval brooch with her father

Order a Custom Lover's Eye

Across the years, we've had the privilege of capturing many hearts and eyes using this antique art, from father's and mother's fond gazes to a romantic partner's or the best of friends. It's an entirely unique gift, thoughtful and sincere, and ensures the recipient has an heirloom piece to pass down along the generations. 

You can order a custom eye of your own by following the link here for the brooch style, or here for the pendant! We honor as many special requests as possible to ensure your sincere delight. 

Once you've ordered a pendant or brooch, if you'd ever like to share your custom piece, please feel free to email us with a photo or tag us on social media so that we can share and see others participate in the Old World custom as well!

“Your eyes speak shy and tender, all they want is to be loved deeper.”


A series of our five, standard styles of Lover
Fallen Aristocrat