A Miniature of John, 5th Earl of Exeter, by Peter Cross (c1645-1724).

An oval, on vellum, set within a gilt-metal frame with scroll surmount. Signed with initials and dated, P.C.1677.

John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), succeeded his father in 1678.

In 1670 he had married Lady Anne Cavendish (1649-1703), widow of Charles Rich and daughter of William, 3rd Earl of Devonshire, brother of Colonel Charles Cavendish.

The miniature was part of an enormous bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689), to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703), recorded in an inventory known as the 1690 Deed of Gift or Devonshire Schedule which lists: ‘A picture of the present Earle of Exeter sett in Gold Large Ovall by’ (sic).

Peter Cross, who may have studied with Samuel Cooper(1609-1672), achieved a great reputation as a fine miniaturist, working extensively for royalty and members of the nobility, particularly during the reign of Queen Anne.


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