A young lady, called Lady Arabella Stuart (1575-1615), in gold dress with embroidered pearl-bordered bodice and gold sleeves, white high-standing lace collar, gold pendant with three drop pearls hanging from a pearl necklace, gold and drop-pearl pendant and lace scarf in her upswept hair; blue background with gold border
signed in gold with monogram 'IO' (mid-left)
on vellum
oval, 2.1/8 in. (54 mm.) high, gilt-metal frame
John Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) Collection, New York; Christie's, London, 24-27 June 1935, lot 182 (as a lady said to be Arabella Stuart, 24 gns. to Harvey).
The Executors of Mrs Esther Ramsay Harvey (1901-1993), the Remaining Contents of Middlethorpe House, Curry Rivel; Phillips, Sherborne, 23 November 1993, lot 346 (as a lady said to be Arabella Stuart).
G. C. Williamson, Catalogue of the Collection of Miniatures, the Property of J. Pierpont Morgan, London, 1906-7, I, p. 62, no. 59 (as a lady, name unknown, called Lady Arabella Stuart).
London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver, 1947, no. 159 (as an Unkown Lady, lent by Mr and Mrs Ramsay Harvey).
London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver, 1971, no. 159 (as an Unknown Lady, lent by Mr and Mrs Ramsay Harvey).

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Katharine Cooke
Katharine Cooke

Lot Essay

Lady Arabella Stuart (1575-1615) was the only child of Charles Stuart, 1st Earl of Lennox (1555-1576) and Elizabeth Cavendish (1555-1582). As a direct descendant of Henry VII, Arabella was considered as a potential candidate to succeed her cousin twice removed, Elizabeth I, although there is no evidence that she herself wanted this. In 1610, Arabella was fourth in line to the throne and was found to have secretly married William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset (1588-1660), sixth in line to the throne, without the permission of the king, who was unhappy at the union of two potential Tudor pretenders to the throne. Both Arabella and Seymour were placed under separate house arrest, but escaped (Arabella disguised as a man) and planned to meet in Lee, Kent, to sail for France. Mis-timed, they set off in separate boats, she for Calais; he for Flanders. Arabella's boat was overtaken by one of the king's ships and she was imprisoned in the Tower of London, where she remained until her death four years later.

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