On vellum, in a rectangular dark-stained fruitwood veneer frame, 15.5cm high, 11.7cm wide, 1.5cm deep. Signed and dated ‘Sa. Cooper/pinxce A° 1642’. The earliest recorded signed and dated miniature by Samuel Cooper.
Lady Elizabeth Cecil (1619-1689), second daughter of William, 2nd Earl of Salisbury, married in 1639 William, 3rd Earl of Devonshire (1617-1684). She became a noted collector and in her will, she bequeathed, amongst many other items, a number of miniatures to her daughter Anne, who had married, in 1670, John, 5th Earl of Exeter. This group provides the nucleus of the Burghley House Collection.
The will, inventoried as the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, included this miniature: ‘A picture of the late Countess of Devonshire by Cooper in white’.