Oval, on vellum, within a gilt-metal frame with scroll surmount, 8cm.
Frances Manners (c.1630-c.1663) was the first wife of the 4th Earl of Exeter (1628-1678), and mother of the 5th Earl, sometimes styled the Travelling Earl, in recognition of his four Grand Tours.
The miniature appears in the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, or Deed of Gift, which records an immense bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689), to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703), which lists: ‘a picture of his Countesse sett in Gold in a Large Ovall by Cooper.’
The previous entry having been: ‘a picture of the late Earle of Exeter in a black fframe.’ MIN0023.
Samuel Cooper was a nephew of the miniaturist John Hoskins (1590-1665), with whom he trained and shared a studio. Cooper would become the most sought after and successful miniature painter of his generation.