King Charles II (1630-1685)
King Charles II (1630-1685)
King Charles II (1630-1685)

SAMUEL COOPER (c.1609-1672)

King Charles II (1630-1685)

c. 1665 United Kingdom

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King Charles II (1630-1685) in gilt studded armour, white lawn collar and blue sash of the Order of the Garter
gilt-metal frame by James Seamer, the reverse engraved with foliate monogram of James Sotheby

The present frame compares with 13 other frames containing miniatures from the James Sotheby collection. They have been attributed to James Seamer on the basis of an entry in Sotheby’s account book recording payment to Seamer on 21 January 1705/6.

Charles II sat to Cooper almost immediately his Restoration, a testament to how highly regarded Cooper was in his time. John Aubrey recalls that a sitting to Cooper was deemed inevitable even before Charles arrived in London, which he did 29th May 1660.
We learn from Aubrey that the King in fact visited Cooper within two weeks of his return. It is astonishing that the King visited Cooper’s studio rather than summon the artist to court. Cooper’s reputation was such that Charles did not appear to mind that he had his portrait taken by the same artist who had previously painted Cromwell, who had executed his own father.
It is not certain when Cooper was appointed Charles’s official painter but it is known that he was paid £200 a year, the same salary as Peter Lely and Van Dyck.

The Sotheby collection from where this miniature arises was one of the most important to remain in private hands prior to it being sold in London, 1955. It was the oldest in date of formation after the Royal Collection. James Sotheby was a London merchant with an estate in Essex, his home at Hackney and his business premises in Hatton Garden. According to a monument erected by his children in Hackney Parish Church, James Sotheby was imprisoned by James II, in favour of King William and “skilled in polite literature in most branches of which he left a valuable collection.”
Acquired by James Sotheby (1655-1720) circa 1700
Thence by descent to the late Major-General Frederick Edward Sotheby of Ecton Hall, Northampton: Sotheby’s , London, 11 October 1955, lot 40 (266 gns. to Lee)
Sotheby’s, London 15 November 1982, lot 48

London, South Kensington Museum Special Exhibition of Works of the Medieval, Renaissance, and more Recent Periods, June 1862, section II, no. 2648 (lent by Charles Sotheby).
London, Burlington Fine Arts Club, Exhibition of Portrait Miniatures, 1889, p. 62 no 19 (lent by Major General Sotheby)
Manchester City Art Gallery, Old and Modern Miniatures, 1926, no. 255
.J. Foster, Samuel Cooper and the Painters of the XVII Century, London, 1914-16, Supplement, p. 21, no. 75
Height 48.00 mm (1.89 inches)
Stock Code
on vellum
Ellison Fine Art

Ellison Fine Art
United Kingdom

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