Nicholas Hilliard (British, 1547-1619)
A pair of portraits of Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Queen of England and Ireland (1558-1603) and Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester (1532-1588): she, wearing black bodice decorated with gold, lace edged pleated ruff and bejewelled gold necklace, jewels and gauze veil in her curled fair hair; he, wearing black doublet, collar of the Order of the Garter, pleated lace ruff and black cap with gold mounted ruby border.
Watercolour on vellum laid down on card, gilt-metal frame and gold bracelet slide frame respectively.
Oval, 19mm (3/4in) high (2)
Provenance: The Property of Mr R. H. Spurway of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada; Christie's, 28 October 1970, lots 123 & 124
Purchased in 1976
Exhibited: Artists of the Tudor Court, The Portrait Miniature rediscovered 1520-1620, Victoria & Albert Museum, 9 July-6 November 1983, nos.185 & 186
Portrait Miniatures from the Merchiston Collection, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 23 September 11 December 2005, nos.3 & 4
Literature: Jim Murrell, The Way Howe to Lymne, 1983, pl.52
Roy Strong, Exhibition Catalogue, 1983, p.118
Stephen Lloyd, Exhibition Catalogue, 2005, p.16-17 and 56-7, ill.col.pl.1A & 1B