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Portrait miniature - An Unknown Man

An Unknown Man

  • Object:

    Portrait miniature

  • Place of origin:

    England (painted)

  • Date:

    ca.1690 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dixon, Nicholas (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

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

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Miss Grace Valentine Stephenson as part of the R. H. Stephenson Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

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

Physical description

Portrait of a man, turned slightly to right, looking to front and wearing armour and a neckcloth of patterned. Features strongly hatched in long strokes of brown and sanguine, with dark blue for the eyes and touches of white for the highlights, on a very pale carnation ground; hair in brown wash hatched with darker colour and heightened with gouache, over the carnation; armour in pale grey wash worked over with dark grey and black, and with white heightening; the studs in gold; cravat in pale brown wash modelled in white; background a brown wash, hatched with darker colour and lightened slightly with grey gouache to right; on vellum put down on a leaf from a table-book.

Frame: Seventeenth-century oval gold locket with convex back, the sides chanelled and flaring out to the bezel, which holds the slightly convex glass by its rounded edges; the hanger of D-section, grooved down the middle and bifurcating into flat wires which turn back on themselves into single loops before beginning diminishing spirals of five turns; engraved on the back with a symmetrical arrangement of acanthus and other leaf ornament, issuing from an engraved triangle at the base of the hanger; inscribed inside with paint: 13 -4, (1) and packed out with cut-up playing cards.

Place of Origin

England (painted)


ca.1690 (painted)


Dixon, Nicholas (artist)

Materials and Techniques

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

Marks and inscriptions

Signed at lower right


Height: 62 mm, Width: 50 mm

Object history note

Provenance: R H Stephenson; given by his daughter Grace Valentine Stephenson in accordance with her father's wishes, February 1928.

Descriptive line

Portrait miniature of an unknown man, watercolour on vellum, painted by Nicholas Dixon, ca.1690.

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.


Watercolour; Vellum



Subjects depicted

Man; Armour


Paintings; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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