One of these exquisite small paintings depicts The Flight into Egypt, the other, The Virgin and Child with St. Joseph.
Each is in a finely wrought gilt-brass frame crested by a double bow; each 12.5cm high.
They were purchased by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), and Anne, his Countess (1649-1703), whilst on one of the first of their Grand Tours.
The Burghley Inventory of 1688 records: My Ladyes Closett…. 2 little peices painted upon bluod stones with guilt and wrought brasse frames (viz.) a Joseph & Mary, ye flight into Egypt by —–.’
The countess was particularly fond of small religious paintings, of which there were many recorded in her private apartments.