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Michiel Jansz van Miereveld (Delft 1567-1641)

A Bearded Old Man with a Shell c.1606

RCIN 403956

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The artist Peter Lely acquired this painting with seven others from Charles I's collection at the Commonwealth Sales. He promptly returned all the pictures in May 1660, presumably to win favour with the newly restored king. By 1666 this painting was described as a self-portrait of Miereveld and was hung alongside 23 other portraits of artists at Whitehall. The shell, from an Indian volute sea snail, was a precious and highly collectable object. Collection of Henry, Prince of Wales, inherited by Charles I, sold to Peter Lely on 2 April 1650, returned to the Crown at the Restoration. Cat. 126