Mary Millet

English School, 17thC

Mary Millet

English School, 17thC


A three quarter, left side, portrait of Mary Millet (1617-1659). She looks straight at the viewer, her face framed by her ringlets of dark hair. She is shown as a lady in a red embroidered dress with puffed sleeves, tied with yellow ribbon, and a lace collar. She wears a plumed headdress, which is trimmed with pearls and which sits near the back of her head. A large pendant at her neck is teardrop shaped, with six black droplets. A matching ring is tied to her collar with a piece of ribbon, and a second ring is visible on the fourth finger of her left hand. Beaded bracelets adorn her wrist. At the top left of the feigned oval surround Mary's age is documented as '15'. This painting was probably made to celebrate her betrothal to William Buggin, who is represented in the accompanying painting, accession number 1947.11. It is thanks to the Art Detective UK website that we are now able to identify the sitter of this portrait as Mary Millet. This identification was possible as the painting is one of a set of four originating from the same family. The coat-of-arms on the portrait of the sitter's husband was the key to establishing Mary's identity. Although the paintings are described as betrothal portraits they are dated 1633 after their marriage at the bride's home village of Denham, Buckinghamshire, England, on 2 September 1632. Perhaps the betrothal therefore took place in the summer of 1632. Although the inscription on the painting indicates that Mary is aged 15 here, the dates and ages were perhaps added a bit later, which might explain them clashing (Mary was 16 in 1633). Family set of four: 1947.8-11

Display Label

A Gentleman and a Young Lady with a Plumed Head-dress 1633 English School Oil on panel These two portraits entered Manchester's collection with two others, all bear the date of 1633. Although the male portrait shows a coat of arms it has not been possible to identify the family from which they come. The Latin inscription on the woman's portrait tells us that she is 15 and that of the man's that he is 27. The paintings could well mark their betrothal The lady is seen, as convention demands, to her husband's left and they both wear rings on the fourth finger of their left hands. Miss H. Close bequest through the National Art Collections Fund 1947.9 & 1947.11

Object Name

Mary Millet

Creators Name

English School, 17thC

Date Created



Panel: 78cm x 60cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint on panel


Presented by Miss Henrietta Close through the National Art Collections Fund.


© Manchester Art Gallery

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