As the political climate changed with the demise of the Commonwealth in the late 1650s, many people had to realign their allegiances to the restored monarchy to ensure their survival. Sir Thomas Tipping was a Parliamentarian during the civil war, but later became a Royalist. He was knighted by Charles II in June 1660, an event perhaps marked by this portrait.
He rests one hand on a rock, symbolising steadfastness. The other grasps the ear of a dog, standing for fidelity. The dog is a spaniel, a breed associated with the Stuart royal family – further emphasising his loyalty to the crown.