A Young Boy, called Master Cecil, by John Hoskins, circa 1640.

Oval 6.2cm, in a rectangular dark-stained fruitwood veneer frame.

The exact identity of the young boy with short brown hair, shown playing castanets is unknown. However, it appears in the 1690 Devonshire Schedule recording an immense bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter: ‘a picture of a Boy playing on Castinetts by Hoskins’. The Countess of Devonshire was a Salisbury Cecil and it is tempting to think that the miniature may represent a member of her family at Hatfield.


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