Very Rare 18th Century French Miniature Painting as Metamorphose

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3" (8 cm.) h. painting. An oval oil painting on copper depicting a young lady with side-glancing expression and painted ringlet curls at her forehead edge, her painted costume with elegant details such as pearl necklace, decorative brooch, is secured in an embossed leather case. Along with the doll are 30 mica overlays with painted details of various costumes which, when placed over the oil painting, transform the young girl into various people, viz. a gentleman, a king, a queen, or a fashionable lady, thus creating an early "paper doll" to playful and amusing effect. Oil painting is in excellent condition; mica overlays are worn. France, mid-1700s, known as "metamorphoses", the overlay paintings became a popular fad for the aristocracy during this time, with various sets believed to represent important historical events or intrigues; they are extremely rare to find. 
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