Oval, in a gold frame with scroll surmount; engraved on the reverse: ‘Anne Countess of Exeter/ Daughter to the Earl of Devon-shire/ By Petito’, 3.8cm.
Anne Cavendish (1649-1703) was the wife of John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700).
Together, they added greatly to the collections at Burghley during four Grand Tours in the late 17th Century.
The miniature is taken from a portrait of the countess by Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), which hangs at Burghley, (PIC390).
Lely, born in Westphaila to Dutch parents, arrived in England in 1643 and soon became a favourite portrait painter to the aristocracy and the court, assuming the mantle left by the death in 1641 of Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641).
Jean Petitot (1607-1691), a Swiss artist, was recognised as one of the finest enamel painters of his time. He spent most of his working life at the Courts of France and England.