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British School, 16th century

Portrait of a Man, perhaps William Lord Compton (1568-1630), first Earl of Northampton c.1600

RCIN 420895

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With his armour and ruff the sitter wears a fashionable single lovelock in his right ear, suspended from a jewel-encrusted earring. Such items were often symbolic love tokens, created from the hair of a loved one.