Sold for £23,000
Samuel Cooper (1609-1672) - Portrait miniature of an unknown lady, bearing a striking resemblance to examples of Oliver Cromwells daughters Elizabeth (Claypole) and Bridget (Ireton) in Ham House, the Victoria & Albert Museum and The Royal Collection, she is wearing a pearl necklace and blue scallop-cut edge dress, with black background, watercolour on vellum, signed in monogram SC and dated 1648, housed in a moulded ebony oval glazed frame, 7 x 5.6cm
Authenticity: The miniature has been confirmed as the work of Samuel Cooper by recognised expert in this field Graham Reynolds. Reynolds was Keeper of the Department of Prints & Drawings (1961-74) and of Paintings (1959-74) at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and is the author of English Portrait Miniatures(1988), and Catalogue of Portrait Miniatures, Wallace Collection(1980).
NOTE: Cooper is believed to have been born in London, and was a nephew of John Hoskins, the miniature painter, by whom he was educated. Known as the greatest English miniaturist of the 17th century, Cooper enjoyed a prosperous career and a European reputation (he is said to have travelled on the Continent as a young man). He worked for both sides during the Civil War and Commonwealth, and his sitters included Oliver Cromwell and Charles II, as well as most of the 'great and good' of English 17th century society.
The renowned Bury St Edmunds portraitist Mary Beale referred to his death in the following words: "Sunday, May 5, 1672 Mr Samuel Cooper, the most famous limner of the world for a face, dyed."
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