Not currently on display at the V&A

Portrait of an unknown man

Miniature
ca. 1580-1585 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Watercolour on vellum, stuck onto plain card, depicting an unknown gentleman, aged 37. He is facing left, wearing a black doublet, high ruff collar, a fair moustache and beard, against a blue background with gold inscription.

Inscription Content: Inscribed around top edge Directa reflexis firmius haerent. / AEtatis suae. 37.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour on vellum, mounted on card
Brief Description
Portrait miniature on vellum by Nicholas Hilliard depicting an unknown man. Great Britain, ca. 1580-5.
Physical Description
Watercolour on vellum, stuck onto plain card, depicting an unknown gentleman, aged 37. He is facing left, wearing a black doublet, high ruff collar, a fair moustache and beard, against a blue background with gold inscription.



Inscription Content: Inscribed around top edge Directa reflexis firmius haerent. / AEtatis suae. 37.
Dimensions
  • Sight size, oval height: 48mm
  • Sight size, oval width: 41mm
Sight size. Oval 48 x 41 mm
Object history
Item Provenance: The estate of the late Rt. Hon. Viscount Harcourt, K.C.M.G., O.B.E.



Exhibitions: Special Exhibition of Portrait Miniatures on loan at the South Kensington Museum, London, 1865, No. 1716.



This miniature is one of ten by various artists acquired as a group and displayed in two frames. Nine of these miniatures are in the V&A collection, E.1170-1178-1988. The tenth miniature by Nicholas Hilliard of the poet Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke is now held by the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic References
  • Strong, Sir Roy "The Leicester House Miniatures: Robert Sidney, 1st Earl of Leicester and his circle", Burlington Magazine CXXVII, October 1988, p.701, Cat. No. III, fig. 47
  • 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. "No obvious candidate emerges from the family connections of Robert Sidney. The style and format shows similarity with a man dated 1583 (Nationalmuseum Stockholm) and Henry Percy, 8th Earl of Northumberland, dated 1585 (Duke of Rutland, Belvoir Castle) and can thus be dated in the early 1580s. It is conceivable that the sitter may be identifiable through the inscription on the border."
Collection
Accession Number
E.1178-1988

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record createdNovember 24, 2008
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