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This miniature of Sir Thomas Smith is signed with initials of the artist and dated, lower left: SC./1667. Samuel Cooper was one of the leading miniature painters of the 17th century. His career began in London during the 1640s and the civil wars, Cooper producing the famous ‘warts and all’ image of Oliver Cromwell. This did not stop him finding favour with Charles II when his was restored to the throne, the painter being appointed the ‘king’s limner’ in 1663 confirming his position as the pre-eminent miniaturist in Britain.