Oval, enamel on gold, in a gold mount chased with ribbon-bound acanthus leaves enamelled in white and pale blue, within a black and white ropetwist border, and a rectangular dark-stained fruitwood veneer frame, 8.7cm. Circa 1670.
The miniature was part of an enormous bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689) to her only daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703).
Known as the 1690 Devonshire Schedule or Deed of Gift, it includes: ‘A picture of our Lady our Saviour and St. John the Junor (sic) frame Gold the Outer fframe black Ebony by Petito.’
Jean Petitot the Elder was a renowned Swiss enamel painter who spent most of his career working at the French and English courts.
His son, Jean Petitot the Younger (1653-1702), trained with him and their work was so similar that experts often have difficulty in distinguishing between the two.