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A portrait miniature believed to be Sir Charles Cotterrell, (1615-1701)


Artist: Nicholas Dixon

wearing an embroidred doublet with lion's heads on the shoulder, white chemise cut to reveal blue silk, lace collar with secured with blue ribbon
gouache on vellum, set in the original silver gilt frame with pierced spiral cresting

This miniature bears a close resemblance to a signed miniature by Nicholas Dixon, possibly of Christopher Monck, 2nd Duke of Albermarle in the Frits Lugt Collection, number 14 in the Catalogue by Karen Schaffers -Bodenhausen. The attention to detail found particularly in the sitter's costume is very fine. The use of the Lion on the shoulder was a motif that Dixon depicted in his portrait of Earl of Danby (Beauchamp Collection) .

The Provenance of Rousham House, suggests that the sitter may be Sir Charles Cotterell, although no comparable portrait of the 1660/70's has been found. He was an English courtier and translator. He was knighted in 1644, having been appointed master of ceremonies to the court of King Charles I in 1641. This post he held until the execution of Charles in 1649. During the early English Interregnum (1649-1652) he resided in Antwerp. From 1652 until 1654 he was steward at the Hague to Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia. In 1655 he entered the service of Henry, Duke of Gloucester as secretary, a post he held until the Restoration in 1660. He was then appointed master of ceremonies under Charles II a position he held until 1686. In 1670 he became master of requests until 1686. In addition, Cotterell was a member of the Cavalier Parliament for the constituency of Cardigan from 1663 until 1678, and a translator of French romances and histories and of The Spiritual Year, a Spanish devotional tract. He belonged to a group of poets called the Society of Friendship and was literary executive and adviser to one member: Katherine Philips. The group used pseudo-classical, pastoral names. His in particular was Poliarchus

On 29 May 1660 Cotterell returned with the royal party to London, where he was sworn master of the ceremonies on 5 June. The pursuit of a young widow, Anne Owen, after the death of Frances his wife in 1657, led Cotterell to form a friendship with Katherine Phillips, whose husband was the MP for Cardigan.
More Information
Year                 Circa 1670
Medium                 Gouache on vellum
Provenance                 T. Cottrell Dormer, Esq Collection, Rousham House
Literature                 The Comerford Collection: Portrait Miniatures (Dublin, privately published, 2009), pp 7, 20 (#41)
Exhibition                 Comerford Collection at the Irish Architectural Archives in Dublin, in 2009.
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