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Portrait miniature - An Unknown Man, called Sir Robert Henley
  • An Unknown Man, called Sir Robert Henley
    Cooper, Samuel
  • Enlarge image

An Unknown Man, called Sir Robert Henley

  • Object:

    Portrait miniature

  • Place of origin:

    England (painted)

  • Date:

    1659 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cooper, Samuel (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

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

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by George Salting

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Portrait Miniatures, Room 90a, The International Music and Art Foundation Gallery, case 5

Physical description

Portrait, turned slightly to right and looking to front; the sitter is wearing a neckcloth. Features boldly and freely hatched in brown and sanguine, with some blue shadow and touches of white heightening, over a thick creamy carnation ground; hair in brown wash, hatched with darker colour and heightened with pale gouache; cravat and sleeves in white over grey wash; doublet in hatched brown wash with bronzing and buttons in gold; brown-curtain background, with blue sky and grey clouds; on vellum put down on a leaf from a table-book.

Seventeenth-century gold locket, convex back, straight sides with single broad channel, the bezel turned over the convex glass; the hanger of tear-drop form made with wire of D-section, with a central channel down the middle and bifurcating into flattened tapering spirals of three turns; a scroll-and-leaf engraving on the back beneath the hanger. Scratched on the back: TMW /The Earl of Sandwhich [sic] / by Sam’l Cooper / Nwt Cl’n 734 £to with a label printed D. of Hamilton. and written over in pen [Earl]of Sand[ wich ]; and Salting's printed label 1628 corrected by hand to 4628.

Place of Origin

England (painted)


1659 (painted)


Cooper, Samuel (artist)

Materials and Techniques

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

Marks and inscriptions

'SC: [interlaced] 1659'
Signed at lower right in black


Height: 71 mm, Width: 57 mm

Object history note

Dukes of Hamilton; Hamilton Palace sale, 15 July 1882,lot 1598, bt Philpot, £267.155.; C HT Hawkins, his sale, Christie's 13 May 1904,lot 906, bt Hodgkin, 470 gns; acquired by George Salting.(1) and by him bequeathed to the Museum, 1910. Probably identical with lot 734 at the sale of Lord Northwick's collection at Thirlestane House, 5 August 1859, bt Farrer of New Bond Street, £31.10s.; see inscription on case above.

Descriptive line

Portrait miniature of a man, called Sir Robert Henley, watercolour on vellum, painted by Samuel Cooper, 1659.

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.


Vellum; Watercolour



Subjects depicted



Portraits; Paintings


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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