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Portrait miniature - An Unknown Man

An Unknown Man

  • Object:

    Portrait miniature

  • Place of origin:

    England (probably, painted)

  • Date:

    1665 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    D. M. (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on vellum put down on a leaf from a table-book

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Alfred Winter

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case RMC, shelf 1, box G

Physical description

Portrait of a man, head and shoulders, turned to, and looking to right. Features hatched and stippled in brown and sanguine, with touches of blue, on a very pale carnation ground; hair in brown wash, lined with darker colour and with the lights in pale gouache; linen washed in white; robe washed in blue; the background an opaque brown wash; on vellum put down on a leaf from a table-book.

Frame: Seventeenth-century gold locket, the convex back enamelled in opaque pale blue, on which a landscape (with Youth and Age approaching the bank of a river with a castle on the other side) is enamelled in black; within a border of blue alternating with black, and with a repeating abstract flower ornament in black and white within an outer border of gold, and with a rounded edge of blue and black rope-work enamel; the sides with a deep narrow channel flare out in unenamelled gold to the bezel, which holds the flat glass by its rounded edges; the hanger of shallow D-section enamelled in blue and black to resemble a ribbon, which carries on over flanking double-sided loops; a gold peg at the base, presumably to secure a lid, of which however no trace (such as a hinge filed-off) now remains. Designs for similar ribbon loops, and patterns for the repeating floral edge ornament, were published in Gilles L'Egaré, Livre des Ouvrages d'Orfevrerie, 1663.

Place of Origin

England (probably, painted)


1665 (painted)


D. M. (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on vellum put down on a leaf from a table-book

Marks and inscriptions

'DM / 1665'

Inscribed on the back, in graphite


Height: 59 mm, Width: 48 mm

Object history note

Provenance: Percy Webster (the dealer), from whom purchased, October 1928.

Descriptive line

Portrait miniature of an unknown man, watercolour on vellum, painted by the monogrammist D. M., 1665.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Murdoch, John. Seventeenth-century English Miniatures in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: The Stationery Office, 1997.
Victoria & Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1928. London: HMSO, 1929


Watercolour; Vellum



Subjects depicted



Paintings; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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