I saved the portraits! There are no words for my awesomness.
Transferring between saves would have been a little bit more annoying without MasterController, but it still would have been OK. I found a household with one sim in it who was very old and would be dead by my current game, so I didn’t have to worry about duplicating anyone. I transferred the portraits to her inventory. Then I saved her household to the household bin. Load up the current save. She’s in the bin. Dropped her in town. Transferred the portraits out of her inventory into Zahra’s inventory. Bim! Bam! Boom!
If I didn’t have MasterController, there would only have been trouble if there was an eight-sim household on either end. You’d just move the sim into the source household, pick up the inventory, move her out on her own, save the household, and reverse the process on the other end.
Afterward, I annihilated the sim. Though she’s still sitting in the household bin, where she serves as a sort of in-game backup of the portraits.
The hardest part turned out to be finding a save that had the portraits in them. I keep a truly stupid number of backups of my Sims 3 folder because I’m afraid of installing corrupted Sims3Pack content and not being able to get it back out. I kept ranging back in time, way past the point where I have actual screenshots of these portraits on the wall, and they were nowhere to be found. Eventually I got back to the point where the Samples had just relocated to the English Country Estate house, but I hadn’t moved their stuff out of inventory and into the house yet. And there they were, all sitting happily in Zahra’s inventory.
I have to guess that something in a patch update rendered those portraits on the wall unloadable? I really have no idea. Now I’m afraid that I’ll load up the game next, and they’ll be gone again. At least they’ll be in the household inventory of Sim Not-Occurring-in-this-Picture.
In additional cheery news, Morand and Faith Cagley from the Cagley Legacy are now in town. I aged Morand up to an Adult so that it would be a bit more plausible for him to be Faith’s father, and I made him more buff to reflect the kind of body an older Morand would have :). Both of them immediately joined their expected careers. Morand is a firefighter, and Faith is a scientist. So she’s now Zahra’s coworker/minion.