Oval, in a rectangular dark-stained fruitwood veneer frame, 8.5cm. Signed with initials and dated 1644.
This charming miniature of William as a little boy of about four holding a puppy, came into the Burghley Collection by way of an immense bequest from his mother, Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689), to her only daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703).
The bequest was recorded in a document known as the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, or Deed of Gift, which includes: ‘A picture of the present Earle of Devonshire when a Child by Hoskins.’
William inherited as 4th Earl of Devonshire on the death of his father in 1684 and was elevated to the dukedom in 1694.