It looks like The Tau cross derives from the Egyptian Ankh and basically they are wearing it around their necks, life rebirth, salvation mirror. sun.Stonehenge looks like it is made up of Ts to form c
07.12 | 21:30
are wearing the symbol on effigies at Ingham church Norfolk and Henry StanleyD1528 at Hillingdon Middlesex.Countess Jacquline of Hainaut and husband Frank Borsele are also wearing the insignia others
07.12 | 21:23
These Queens could of been members of the order and i think the Tau cross is a symbol of the Holy Trinity also.These pendants could of been reliquaries.Lady margaret de Bois and Roger de bois
07.12 | 21:17
I think the Tau cross that they are wearing could be linked to the(knights) order of St Anthony, Mary 1st collar looks like it may represent the knotted girdle/waist cord of st Anthony .
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However, we know that the Beaufort Miniature was sold at Sotheby’s auction house, London, on 13th September 1983 as lot 90. It was was formerly held in the collection of Henry Somerset, 12th Duke of Beaufort.
If, as I suggest, Amy Robsart is the sitter of the Beaufort Miniature, two likely original owners are either Amy Robsart Dudley herself or her husband, Robert Dudley. After her death, Robert, as her widower, probably inherited all of her personal effects.
Likewise, after his death, most of Robert Dudley's personal effects were probably inherited by his widow, Lettice Knollys, his only legitimate child having predeceased him.
Lettice Knollys is the direct ancestress of Henry Somerset, 12th Duke of Beaufort.
Georgiana Charlotte (née Curzon), Duchess of Beaufort (1825–1906)
Georgiana Charlotte (née Curzon), Duchess of Beaufort (1825–1906), wife of the 8th Duke of Beaufort; daughter of 1st Earl Howe.
She was a direct descendant of Lettice Knollys, and the great-grandmother of Captain Henry Robert Somers FitzRoy de Vere Somerset (1898—1965), the grandfather of the current duke. Her great-grandson would have been eight at the time of her death.
This is just as I suggested on our Portraits page.
When first I compared the Yale Miniature with the Beaufort Miniature I, like the author of the technical analysis saw '[t]he red hair and pale blue-grey eyes' of the sitter of the Yale Miniature, perfectly consistent with the red hair and the pale blue-grey eyes of the sitter in the Beaufort Miniature.
Looking at the miniatures again, I became uncertain and instead saw what J. Stephan has written of the Yale Miniature: «The sitter’s hair appears a mousy brown with golden highlights».
After careful consideration, I have concluded that the hair colour of the lady can be interpreted both ways, as is actually often the case with red-headed Tudor ladies.
I stand by my conclusion that the sitter in the two miniatures is the same woman.
I disagree with the author of the article on two points: She concludes that the painter was Lucas Horenbout and the sitter Mary I Tudor.
I disagree when it comes to both of these.
Ann Longmore-Etheridge wrote of the work of Levina Teerlinc: 'The one thing I see as common to these miniatures ascribed to her is the emaciated thinness of the arms. It wasn't a one off. If appears over and over. Whomever was the artist, it was a strong trait in their work.'
Roy Strong, too, noted this trait in the work of a Tudor miniaturist and likewise attributes it to Levica Teerlinc.
As to the sitter being Mary I Tudor, I object for two reasons. Firstly, I cannot see the likeness to the authenticated portraits of Mary. However, a commenter to this site could, so that is subjective 😊
The second, entirely objective reason, is that I do not believe that the miniature dates to when Mary was 18. Mary I Tudor was was born in 1516, so she would have been in her 18th year in 1533–1534. The fashion of the 1530's and 1540's was similar enough that it can be difficult to differentiate between the two. However, I am reasonably certain that the French hood dates from the 1540's, not the 1530's. The cloth-covered piece of the crown is higher than you see in the French hoods of the 1530's. It is also leaning slightly more towards a square shape than the rounder ones of the 1530's. It is a type of French hood that can be seen on many portraits of Queen Katherine Parr, and on both her step-daughters, the portrait of Mary from 1544 and the portrait of Elizabeth from c.1546/7 shown above.
In fact, I cannot find a painting which features this type of French hood that predates Katherine Parr's time as Queen Consort, so I would date the miniature to some time after 1543 based on that alone.
There is however also the matter of the neckline – The sitter’s dress has a much wider square to its neckline than the narrower neckline Anne Boleyn is wearing in the Most Happi medal and Jane Seymour is wearing in her famous portrait by Holbein, and which was fashionable in the 1530’s. If you look at the Kunsthistorisches Museum portrait of Jane Seymour, which dates to c.1536–1537, you can see that the neckline is much narrower than in the Yale miniature, where the neckline is so wide that it is off the shoulder.
 «In the movie you referred to, they are portrayed as moving off to some country house of their own. That did not happen. It is documented that they lived with Guildford’s parents between their wedding on 21 May and Jane’s accession on 10 July.» Some Grey Matter – Questions and Answers About Lady Jane Grey
 They were both descendants of Sir Lewis Robessart’s brother, Sir John Robessart. «Sir Thierry Robessart married Elizabeth Cromwell, who died on 20th November 1535 and who is buried beside her husband. They had two sons, William and Sir John, and a daughter Lucy, who was buried at Houghton on 1st February 1559/60. Lucy married Edward Walpole, the son of Thomas Walpole of Houghton, Co. Norfolk, who was born in 1483 and who died 2nd January 1558/9.» Lucy Robsart Walpole was the sister of Amy's father Sir John Robsart. The Robessart Tomb in Westminster Abbey by C R Humphery-Smith, FSA, FHS of l’Académie Internationale d’Héraldique
Lettice Knollys (1543–1634) m. 1) Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex; 2) Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1565–1601) m. Frances Walsingham
Frances Devereux (1599–1674) m. William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset
Henry Seymour, Lord Beauchamp (c.1626–1654) m. Mary Capell
Lady Elizabeth Seymour (c.1655–1697) m. Thomas Bruce, 2nd Earl of Ailesbury and 3rd Earl of Elgin
Lady Elizabeth Bruce (1689–1745) m. George Brudenell, 3rd Earl of Cardigan
Colonel the Hon. Robert Brudenell (1726–1768) m. Anne Bisshopp
Robert Brudenell, 6th Earl of Cardigan (1760–1837) m. Penelope Anne née Cooke
Harriet Georgiana Brudenell (1799–1836) m. Richard Curzon-Howe, 1st Earl Howe
Lady Georgiana Charlotte Curzon (1825–1906) m. Henry Somerset, 8th Duke of Beaufort
Lord Henry Richard Charles Somerset (1849–1932) m. Lady Isabella Caroline Somers-Cocks
Henry Charles Somers Augustus Somerset (1874–1945) m. Lady Katherine Beauclerk
Captain Henry Robert Somers FitzRoy de Vere Somerset (1898—1965) m. Bettine Violet Malcolm
David Robert Somerset, 11th Duke of Beaufort (1928–2017) m. Lady Caroline Jane Thynne
Henry John FitzRoy Somerset, 12th Duke of Beaufort (b. 22 May 1952)
 Lee Porritt in The Beaufort Miniature Portrait – Lady Jane Grey Revisited specifies that the miniature came from the collection of the 12th Duke. The Victoria and Albert Museum, however, of a miniature sold from the same collection in the same sale, writes: «Provenance: The Duke of Beaufort; Christie's 13 December 1983, Lot 91; Brian Pilkington.» The Duke of Beaufort in 1983 was the 10th Duke, Henry Hugh Arthur FitzRoy Somerset (4 April 1900 – 5 February 1984). For our purposes it amounts to the same, both the 10th and 12th Duke are direct descendants of Lettice Knollys through Lady Georgiana Charlotte Curzon (1825–1906), Duchess of Beaufort.
 Roy Strong, Artists of the Tudor Court: The Portrait Miniature Rediscovered, 1520–1620 (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1983), 52–53; and Strong, The English Renaissance Miniature, 58.
 Roy Strong, “Teerlinc, Levina (d. 1576)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
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Melissa M. Miller
Have you considered the similarity to features that are notable in the lady imaged opposite Elizabeth in the Checkers Ring? Kudos on the chron of style elements - French hood and decolletage.
Thank you so much for your kind words regarding the chronology 😊 As to the Chequers Ring (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/542754192574661350/), I have carefully considered your suggestion. I am afraid
I do not see any particular resemblance except for the fact that both ladies are redheads. The lady in the Chequers Ring does not appear to have the pronounced snub nose that is such a distinct
feature of the lady in the Yale Miniature. Her French hood also seems to be the rounder one of earlier times, entirely consistent with the ones that would have been worn by Anne Boleyn.
I think both Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard had auburn hair, therefore there are portraits of them both that show them sometimes with red hair and sometimes with brown hair. (For the idea
that Anne Boleyn was a redhead, see: http://under-these-restless-skies.blogspot.com/2013/08/anne-boleyn-redhead.html) The neckline worn by the lady of the Chequers Ring also seem narrower than that
of the lady in the Yale Miniature, again pointing towards an earlier time, a time more consistent with that of Anne Boleyn. In fact, the lady in the Chequers Ring bears a striking resemblance to the
NPG 4980 of Anne Boleyn altogether, although the billiments of the French hood are different: https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw00143/Anne-Boleyn?LinkID=mp00109&role=sit&rNo=1
David Starkey suggests that the Yale Miniature must be Lady Jane Grey but it looks just like Princess Mary. (Teerlinc after Holbein?) Unlikely Jane Grey and Qu Mary Tudor looked like identical twins.
Hi! Sorry it has taken me a little bit of time to reply :) I wanted to update the site first, to reflect my thoughts on the Yale miniature.
Yes, I am aware of David Starkey's suggestion that the lady is Lady Jane Grey. This has been refuted, pretty conclusively,
by J. Stephan Edwards based on the age of the sitter. Jane would have been in captivity when she became 17 and entered her 18th year.
No, I absolutely do not think that Mary I and Lady Jane Grey looked like identical twins, lololol 😊
You are not alone in seeing the resemblance to Mary, a recent study concluded with just that!
Your suggestion that it might have been Teerlinc after Holbein is really clever,
it would solve both the conundrum of the age and the French hood that I think dates to after 1543. (Levina Teerlinc could easily have updated that to make it more fashionable 😊)
For myself I have always been convinced that she is Amy Robsart.
The presence of what could be a saracen's head on the brooch (the crest of the Robsart family) have only made me more certain 😊
As well as the flowers also being a pun for Robert (giroflée from the greek karyophyllon = "nut-leaf" (the association deriving from the flower's scent) = Oak = Robur, Robert
This second symbol for Robert wearing the colours of Amy Robsart, like a knight of old (or their present), green and yellow, the colours of the Robsart coat of arms.
Those particular flowers would also have been in bloom when Amy was born, as well as for their wedding 18 years later.
The setting of the Barbor jewel dates from c. 1615–1625, the cameo is said to be older and made for William Barbor (d. 1586), a Protestant. The tradition, apparently first recorded in 1724, says that he wanted to commemorate his escape from the stake thanks to the accession of Elizabeth I (1558–1603). (The Victoria and Albert Museum)
Elizabeth I – Cameo, c.1575–85; Setting From the Early 18th Century | RCIN 65186
Gold enamelled pendant, set with rubies and an onyx cameo portrait of Elizabeth I in profile. London, c.1575–1603
I believe the lady in the Beaufort Miniature is the same lady as the one in the Yale Miniature.
If one compares each feature, there is the same pronounced snub nose and the same small mouth.
I believe both miniatures were painted by Levina Teerlinc, about a decade apart, of the same woman, Amy Robsart Dudley. On her wedding day Amy Robsart became the daughter-in-law of England’s Lord President of the Privy Council and would have been a likely client of the court painter Levina Teerlinc.
The second miniature, which Lee Porritt dates to the second half of the second half of the 1550's, I believe was painted after Elizabeth I Tudor became queen. She was known for letting people to whom she was otherwise unkind have access to her court painters and other painters. See Nicholas Hilliard's miniature of Mary, Queen of Scots and Levina Teerlinc's miniature of Lady Katherine Grey and her son while Lady Katherine Grey was in the Tower, for instance.
I suppose Elizabeth I Tudor was not precisely unkind towards Amy Robsart, apart from wanting her husband for herself, but then again, even today, many would consider that a very great unkindness indeed.
Elizabeth did not wish for Amy's presence at court, and perhaps not in London at all. However, according to Christine Hartweg in Amy Robsart: A Life and Its End in May 1559 Amy Dudley came to London for about a month. She was already ill from 'the malady of the breast', a fact that the Spanish ambassador, Count de Feria had reported on the 18th of April 1559, and which would bother her for some time before her dramatic death.
The visit was probably done with the Queen's approval (Elizabeth had a tendency to relent before illness, see her treatment of Lady Margaret Douglas, Bess of Hardwick and partially Lady Katherine Grey), and it does not seem unlikely that the services of the court painter were lent out as an extra treat.
Levina Teerlinc could also have done a home visit while Amy Robsart was confined to the country, I suppose. Mary, Queen of Scots was certainly not in London with Elizabeth when Nicholas Hilliard visited her.
The Yale Miniature
Amy Robsart, Looking at the Portrait of Leicester, coincidentally or not dressed in the colours of the Robsart coat of arms of green and yellow
As for Robert and Amy, it must also be remembered the age in which they lived.
A knight [...] simply took the favour—the colours, a ribbon, or a handkerchief of the lady, as the case might be[...]. The wearing of a lady's sleeve, which must have been an honour greatly prized[...]. The dresses of ladies at that period were decorated with the arms of their families, so in each case would be of the "colours" of the lady, so that the sleeve and its colours would be quickly identified, as it was no doubt usually intended they should be. (A Complete Guide to Heraldry by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies)
Jousting is based on the military use of the lance by heavy cavalry. It transformed into a specialised sport during the Late Middle Ages, and remained popular with the nobility in England and Wales, Germany and other parts of Europe throughout the whole of the 16th century. In England, jousting was the highlight of the Accession Day tilts of Elizabeth I and of James VI and I, and also was part of the festivities at the marriage of Charles I.
Henry VIII was an eager jouster.
Putting aside the possible double meaning of both of their names for now, giroflée = karyophyllon = "nut-leaf" (the spice called clove, the association deriving from the flower's scent) = Oak = Robur, Robert
It could be Robert wearing his lady's colours.
Lysette Anthony as the Lady Rowena Receiving the Crown of Love and Beauty from Ivanhoe in Ivanhoe (1982)
The head in the brooch could be a Saracen's head. The gold paint surrounding it could be a crown.
The Yale Miniature (detail)
St Catharine's College (Cambridge) – Gules a Catherine wheel Or
I cannot immediately see anything that could be a Catherine wheel, unless it is meant to be the spiky parts of the decoration of the border of the brooch, making the brooch itself the Catherine wheel. But those spiky details could simply be a part of the decoration of the border of the brooch.
In Letters of Horace Walpole to Horace Mann 1760–1785, Volume 4 by Horace Walpole we find the following illuminating sencence: 'On another shield is the Saracen's head, the crest of the family , but here the Catherine-wheel is above the cap, not on it ; having been so borne by the Robsarts, as appears from the tomb of Lodowic Robsart lord Bourchier in Westminster Abbey.'
There is possibly something blurry on the gold paint surrounding the head, without me being able to vouch for its thereabouts, but in either case it appears as if the Catherine wheel is supposed to be above the cap, not on it.
Unless it was there in real life, but not in the painting of it. The acorns probably weren't there in real life.
I am, however, leaning more and more towards seeing the 'head in agate' as a possible Saracen's head.
Yet another source refers the Garter plate of Sir Lewis Robsart, 'a soldan's head crowned, and with a pointed cap issuing from the crown'. (A Complete Guide to Heraldry)
Stall Plate of Sir Reynold Cobham, Knight – A Soldan's Head with a Gold Wreath
Sir Miles Stapleton – lllustration by P. Page After the Garter Stall Plate – A Soldan's Head Sable a Torse Azure About the Brow
Sir Reynold Cobham, Knight – The Stall Plates of the Knights of the Order of the Garter, 1348-1485 (1901) Plate XXXII: "Now in the eighteenth stall, on the north side of the chapel. A quadrangular plate of gilt copper, with dagged edges, on which are represented the arms, gules on a chevron gold three estoiles sable, with silver helm garnished gold with a black mantling lined with red, and crest, a soldan's head with a gold wreath"
Sir Miles Stapleton – The Stall Plates of the Knights of the Order of the Garter, 1348-1485 (1901) Plate XXXIX: "Now in the seventeenth stall, on the south side of the quire. A small and thin quadrangular plate of gilt copper bearing a shield of the knight's arms, silver a lion sable, and a gilt helm covered with a black mantling lined red with gold branches, surmounted by the crest, a soldan's head sable with an azure twist about the brows." (lllustration by P. Page After the Garter Stall Plate – Norfolk Heraldry)
Sir William Willoughby, Lord Willoughby d'Eresby, Knight – The Stall Plates of the Knights of the Order of the Garter, 1348-1485 (1901) Plate XX: Now in the nineteenth stall, on the Sovereign's side. A cut-out plate in perfect order representing the arms, which are quarterly: 1 and 4, sable a cross engrailed gold (for Ufford); 2 and 3, gules a mill-iron or miller's cross silver (for Willoughby), with silvered helm and silver mantle with red lining branched with gold, and the crest, a soldan's head sable hair and crown gold. The crown is filled in with white enamel.
Sir William Willoughby, Lord Willoughby d'Eresby – A Soldan's Head Sable Hair and Crown Gold
The author of A Complete Guide to Heraldry connects the Robsart crest with that of the Bourchier crest, due to Sir Lewis Robsart's marriage into that family, but the crest of Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford (1717–1797), who like Amy was descended from a different brother, makes it clear that the rest of the family employed it also.
Most of the original decoration had been deliberately washed over with a dingy stone colour in the early 19th century.
The Tomb of Sir Lewis Robsart in Its Pre-Painted State Centre-Right in This 1811 Illustration
On the tomb can be found three mottos: "Non nobis D’ne, non nobis sed N’ni tuo da gloriam" (Not unto us O Lord, not unto us but unto Thy name give glory), "L'honneur a Dieu, a nous Merci" and "Learne to dye to live ever", which is only mildly interesting, except for the fact that Lady Jane Grey famously wrote in her last letter to her sister Katherine "learn you to die", "live still to die, that you by death may purchase eternal life" and "My good sister, once more again let me entreat thee to learn to die; [...] even in death there is life", and "Lyve styll to dye, that by deathe you may purchase eternall life", to Sir John Brydges, Lieutenant of the Tower.
EDITED TO ADD 17.03.2023
The British Library has published images of some of writings of Lady Jane Grey: "One is a letter to her younger sister Lady Katherine Grey (1540–1568), written on the night before her execution on the pages of a New Testament in Greek. A copy of this printed letter was subsequently entered onto the empty leaves of a 15th-century English manuscript (Harley 2370) containing a treatise known as the Ars moriendi (‘Art of dying’)."
Jane’s letter (‘exhortacyon’) to her sister Katherine on ‘the night bef[ore] she suffred’ (England, 16th century): Harley MS 2370, f. 39v
‘Lyve styll to dey, that you by deth may purchas eternal lyfe [...] And trust not that the tendernes of your age shall lengthen your liffe; for as sone (if God call) goith the yowng as the old: and laborre alway to lerne to dey, deney the world, defey the devell, and disspyse the flesh, delite yourselfe onely in the lord.’
“Lyve styll to dye, that by deathe you may purchase eternall life” –Written in Jane’s own hand, part of her message to Sir John Brydges in her prayer book that she carried to the scaffold with her (England, 1539–1554): Harley MS 2342, f. 75v
‘I shalle as a frende desyre you, and as a Christian require you, to call uppon God, to encline youre harte to his lawes, to quicken you in his waye, and not to take the worde of trewethe utterlye oute of youre mouthe. Lyve styll to dye, that by deathe you may purchase eternall life [...] for as the Precher sayethe there is a tyme to be borne and a tyme to dye and the daye of deathe is better then the daye of oure byrthe - youres as the lord knowethe, as a frende Jane Duddeley’
“I shall as a friend desire you and as a Christian require you to call upon God to incline your heart to His laws, to quicken you in His way, and not to take the word of truth utterly out of your mouth. Live still to die, that by death you may purchase eternal life. And remember how the end of Mathuselah, who as we read in the Scriptures was the longest-lived that was of a man, died at the last, for as the Scriptures say, there is a time to be born and a time to die, and the day of death is better than the day of our birth. Yours, as the Lord knows, as a friend, Jane Dudley” (The Lady Jane Grey’s Prayer Book, J. Stephan Edwards, Folio 74v – Folio 77r)
Letter to Katherine
«In the case of the letter to Katherine, ‘we must recognise that Jane was addressing herself. The comforts and securities she was urging on Katherine were the comforts and certainties which she had to hold on through the ensuing hours.’ (p.271-272, Ives)» (Letter to Sister | Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide)
It is not known what (if any) relationship the two sisters-in-law Amy Robsart and Lady Jane Grey had. Lady Jane Grey and Guildford Dudley were living with his parents in London for the duration of their marriage, so any visits made by Lord Robert Dudley and his wife to the Northumberlands must necessarily have involved them as well.
Some years previous, Lady Jane Grey and her future mother-in-law Jane, then Countess of Warwick had been joint godmothers to Bess of Hardwick's little daughter Temperance. This shows some level of socialising between the families prior to Jane's marriage to Guildford.
Lady Jane Grey – The Duckett Portrait
Amy Robsart – The Yale Miniature
It seems silly to suggest that Lady Jane Grey and Amy Robsart took a stroll through Westminster Abbey, amongst other things looking at and perhaps discussing the tomb of her great-uncle Sir Lewis Robsart and the mottos found there. Then again it seems equally silly to suggest that such a common-place event could not have found place.
Amy Robsart could read and write, many letters in her hand survive, in a time few people could, and while probably not the intellectual equal of Jane (few people were) it could be that she was educated enough for Jane to feel that she was worthwhile company for the time the two of them were in each other's presence and/or vicinity. For Amy Robsart it would have been her third year of marriage without a grandchild for the Northumberlands. Jane had never been too fussed about her marriage in the first place and loathed her mother-in-law to the point that she suspected her of poisoning her. Perhaps they both felt the need to get out of the house for a while.
When I wrote the above, I was a bit uncertain if Amy and Jane would have found the time for a visit to Westminster Abbey together, even though any tourist to London manage it in one weekend.
However, at the time it was unknown to me and I thought it was unknown if Robert and Amy were even at a visit at his parents’ house in London from the North during the brief time Jane and Guildford were married.
However, according Simon Adams’s Dudley, Robert, earl of Leicester (1532/3–1588) (2008) at Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, the young couple dwelt mostly at court or with Amy's parents-in-law at Ely House; in the first half of 1553 they lived at Somerset House, Robert Dudley being keeper of this great Renaissance palace.
This means that Amy and Jane were both living in London during the time they were sisters-in-law, they may even have resided in the same house for some of the time.
The Yale Miniature
The Yale Miniature
The miniature is inscribed with the age of the sitter, "AN[N]O XVIII" ("in [her] 18th year").
There have been several tentative identifications of this miniature. Amy Robsart Dudley, Jane Grey Dudley or even Elizabeth I Tudor when a princess.
One theory is that it is a wedding picture of Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Days Queen. David Starkey argued in 2007 that she was Lady Jane Grey. Eric Ives argues that it cannot be Jane Grey because (among other considerations) Lady Jane Grey was too young, and says: «If the sitter was a Dudley wife and the miniature is a wedding memento, the acorns suggest Amy Robsart, who married ... at the precise age of 18 (Robert, robur, Latin for oak).» (Ives 2009 pp. 295, 15–16). Chris Skidmore concurs with this, adding that Robert Dudley used the oak as a personal symbol in his youth (Skidmore 2010 p. 21).
J. Stephan Edwards discounts the possibility of her being Lady Jane Grey also, see p.102–106 of A Queen of a New Invention.
For myself, I have always been inclined to believe that she is Amy Robsart.
Amy Robsart married Robert Dudley three days before her 18th birthday on the 4th of June 1550 at the royal palace of Sheen with Edward VI in attendance. Princess Elizabeth Tudor danced at their wedding.
«The lady in the Yale miniature ‟wears a gold brooch mounted with a black classical head and behind it a bunch of acorns and a spray of yellow flowers“. As pointed out by Starkey, an inventory of Jane’s possessions as queen lists two gold brooches with a face cut in agate. However as J. S. Edwards has remarked, ‟these particular carved-stone faces are so vaguely described, … that they cannot reliably be associated with the one depicted in the miniature. Further, such ‘faces in agate’ were both highly prized and fairly common in the Tudor period.“ David Starkey has seen the flowers as gillyflowers of the kind seen in the Tower of London carving associated with the five imprisoned Dudley brothers, where they represent Guildford Dudley. Guildford being Lady Jane Grey’s husband, Starkey has interpreted the flowers in the miniature as symbols of their union. Both Eric Ives and J. S. Edwards have argued though that they are not of the Tower variant and cannot be determined precisely – they could as well be cowslips. Most importantly, however, the acorns of the miniature remain unexplained in Starkey’s theory.»
«Gillyflowers served as a general symbol of marriage and fidelity. The flowers in the Yale miniature are ‟impaled“, that is arranged to symbolize ‟a marriage between a man whose badge was an oak and a woman whose badge was a flower.“ A 1550 wedding celebrated in court circles, indeed in the presence of King Edward VI, was that of Robert Dudley and Amy Robsart. The bridal couple were almost the same age, just days away from their 18th birthday. Acorns and the oak were used by Robert Dudley in a carving in the Tower of London as a personal symbol or ‟device“, the pun deriving from the similarity of his name, Robert, to the Latin word for ‟oak“, robur. The age of the sitter fitting, and the plant symbolism making sense, Amy Dudley née Robsart has been suggested as a possible candidate by Eric Ives, an idea taken up by Chris Skidmore and also Leanda de Lisle.» (Elizabeth, Jane, Amy? The Riddle of the Yale Miniature – All Things Robert Dudley)
The fashions, the design of the dresses, the necklines of the dresses, and the French hoods are virtually identical.
The Royal Collection has dated the portrait of Elizabeth I when a Princess to c.1546, it may even be a portrait that is mentioned in a letter from Elizabeth to her brother Edward in 1547 as a gift from the princess to her brother.
The fashions of the girl in the miniature is perfectly in keeping with the fashions of Queen Katherine Parr and her two step-daughters Mary and Elizabeth Tudor in the 1540's.
In the 1550's fashion would change radically from this look, see our 1550's and 1560's page, but I believe in the summer of 1550, when Amy Robsart was married just a few days before her 18th birthday, this fashion could still have been in vogue.
«This beautiful carving of the Dudley coat of arms is thought to have been made by John Dudley, son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who died on this day in 1554 shortly after his release from the Tower of London.»
«John is said to have carved the coat of arms into the stone wall of the Beauchamp Tower of the Tower of London when he, his brothers and father were imprisoned there after the fall of Lady Jane Grey, wife of John’s brother, Guildford. The carving features the bear and ragged staff (the badge of the Earls of Warwick), the double-tailed lion rampant (badge of the Dudley family) and a floral border with oak leaves and acorns for Robert Dudley (Quercus robur is the Latin for English oak), roses for Ambrose Dudley, honeysuckle for Henry Dudley (Lonicera henryi) and Gilly Flower for Guildford Dudley.
In this detail of the Yale Miniature we can see a close-up of the flowers connected with the brooch. Like everybody else, for me it's a tie between whether they look more like gillyflowers or cowslips, without being able to guarantee that they're either.
I could find no play on words for either flower and Amy, Amia, Amata or Robsart. Nor any connection with the Robsart coat of arms, except that they have same colours, green and yellow, or Vert and Or.
However, if the flower is a gillyflower, I discovered something interesting:
The name gilliflower or gillyflower derives from the French giroflée from Greek karyophyllon = "nut-leaf" = the spice called clove, the association deriving from the flower's scent.
Acorns and nut-leaves.
Oak = Robur, Robert
This means that if the flowers are gillyflowers, the meaning of the brooch is ... "Robert Robert".
Show me the 18-year-old who would not have thought that to be so funny. And sooo romantic to boot, with the double meaning of the groom's name and wedding. (My apologies to all the 18-year-olds who would obviously have been too mature think it either amusing or romantic. I am sorry I could not have counted myself amongst their number.)
Rob was also the first syllable of Amy's maiden name of Robsart. It could have been a play on words for both of their names.
Two puns and one general reference to wedding festivities.
Giroflée ravenelle, Cheiranthus cheiri
Giroflée ravenelle, Cheiranthus cheiri
Giroflée ravenelle, Cheiranthus cheiri
David Starkey identified the tiny yellowish flowers underlying the bodice brooch as gillyflowers or wallflowers, specifically Cheiranthus cheiri.
Sadly, little is known about the provenance of the Yale Miniature. All that is known is that it was donated to Yale Center for British Art in 1966 by Paul Mellon (d.1999), who had purchased it as a pair with the Portrait of a Man from Sotheby’s London in 1970 from the collection of Miss Dorothy Hutton.