Not currently on display at the V&A

Portrait of Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley (1520-1598)

Miniature
ca. 1800-20 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Watercolour on vellum, stuck onto playing card with black cypher verso. Lord Burghley is depicted facing left in a black doublet, trimmed with brown fur, wearing a black soft, high-crowned hat with a blue ribbon with the Badge of the Garter. He has a fair moustache and beard, against a blue background with gold border.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour on vellum, mounted on card with black cypher verso.
Brief Description
Portrait miniature on vellum by George Perfect Harding depicting Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley (1520-1598). Great Britain, ca. 1800-20.
Physical Description
Watercolour on vellum, stuck onto playing card with black cypher verso. Lord Burghley is depicted facing left in a black doublet, trimmed with brown fur, wearing a black soft, high-crowned hat with a blue ribbon with the Badge of the Garter. He has a fair moustache and beard, against a blue background with gold border.
Dimensions
  • Sight size, oval height: 45mm
  • Sight size, oval width: 37mm
Sight size. Oval 45 x 37 mm
Object history
Item Provenance: The Rev. Bentinck Hawkins Collection. Sir Charles Wentworth Silke, Bt. Lord Harcourt (purchased in 1911).



This miniature is one of a group of ten originally displayed in two frames. Nine of the group were acquired by the V&A (E.1170-1178-1988), while the tenth of Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke by Nicholas Hilliard is now held by the National Portrait Gallery, London. The complex provenance of this group is described in an article by Sir Roy Strong, "The Leicester House Miniatures", Burlington Magazine CXXVII, October 1988. However, this miniature and E.1176-1988 were only added to the group early 20th century and are not referred to by Strong. George Perfect Harding visited many country houses making copies after earlier portraits. A known portrait of William Cecil, Lord Burghley (Erna Auberach, Hilliard, p.269, pl. 236) is similar.
Production
This miniature was probably painted at the end of the 18th century, beginning of the 19th, when Harding was travelling around the country making copies after earlier portraits. A known portrait of the same sitter (Auerbach, Hilliard, p. 269, pl. 236) shows the sitter in a similar position, with the same close fitting piped ruf and wearing a medal suspended from a chain around the neck.
Subject depicted
Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
The following in an excerpt from a valuation report made by Christie's of the estate of the late Rt. Hon. Viscount Harcourt, K. C. M. G., O. B. E. "The miniature was probably painted at the end of the 18th century, beginning of the 19th century, when Harding was travelling around the country making copies after earlier portraits. A known portrait of William Cecil, Lord Burghley (Auberach, Hilliard, p. 269, pl. 236) shows the sitter in a similar position, with the same close fitting piped ruff and wearing a medal suspended from a chain around the neck".
Collection
Accession Number
E.1175-1988

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record createdNovember 24, 2008
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