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Unknown Boy in a Ruff, Aged 3 years: M.82-1961

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Unknown Boy in a Ruff, Aged 3 years


Miniaturist: Unknown
Silversmith: Unknown




Oval, silver box with tortoise shell lid and base, the lid inlaid with silver piqué work man stretching into a palm tree; the interior set with a portrait miniature in oil on paper

Silver with tortoise shell lid and base; the lid inlaid with silver thread piqué work and set with a portrait miniature in oil on paper. Oval with straight sides, projecting moulded edges and a projecting hinge. The top of the almost flat lid is decorated with a vignette of a man stretching into a palm tree beside which is a scroll inscribed 'CRESCIT SUB PONDERE'. Glued inside the lid is a circular miniature of an unknown boy in a red jacket and white ruff, inscribed in gold "AEta.3.1615".


History note: Not known before testator

Legal notes

Bequeathed 1960.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1961-04-27) by Clarke, Louis Colville Gray


Production date: circa AD 1600 : The box does not bear any hallmarks


The box was probably made in France circa 1710, and the miniature was probably painted in Italy one hundred years earlier

People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production

Oil paint

Components of the work

Support composed of paper ( Support identified by Christine Slottved Kimbriel, HKI conservator, as paper (3 November 2014). Support formerly described as canvas.)
Lid And Base composed of tortoise shell
Inlay composed of silver
Mounts And Side composed of silver
Whole Box Height 1.6 cm Length 8.1 cm Width 6.2 cm
Miniature Height 52 mm Width 54 mm
Silver Piqué

Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On a scroll, centre left on the lid
  • Method of creation: Silver
  • Type: Motto
  • Text: AETA.3.1615
  • Location: Centre left of the miniature inside the lid
  • Method of creation: Painted in gold
  • Type: Age and date
  • Text: 61
  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Printed in black and stuck with glue
  • Type: Paper label

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.82-1961
Primary reference Number: 18070
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 8 March 2017 Last processed: Tuesday 13 June 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Unknown Boy in a Ruff, Aged 3 years" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-21 16:51:17

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{{cite web|url= |title=Unknown Boy in a Ruff, Aged 3 years |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-21 16:51:17|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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