Thomas Chiffinch

1 portrait

Thomas Chiffinch, attributed to Jacob Huysmans, circa 1660 - NPG 816 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Thomas Chiffinch

attributed to Jacob Huysmans
oil on canvas, circa 1660
44 1/2 in. x 36 3/4 in. (1130 mm x 933 mm)
Purchased, 1889
Primary Collection
NPG 816


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Sitterback to top

  • Thomas Chiffinch (1600-1666), Keeper of the Privy Closet and the King's Jewels to Charles II. Sitter in 1 portrait.

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

A page to Charles I and a close confidant of Charles II, at the Restoration Chiffinch was appointed Keeper of the Privy Closet and of the King's Jewels. At Whitehall he was also charged with looking after the king's collection of Old Master paintings. Nonetheless, the unusual collection of attributes seen in this portrait may represent his own collections. Chiffinch is holding a piece of paper in his right hand which he rests on a classical bust. Scattered around the base of the bust are portrait miniatures and gold coins and in his left hand he holds a cameo of a woman's profile. The 'auricular' frame to this portrait has grotesque masks at the top and bottom which are set between dophins with open mouths which appear to engulf the corner ornament of the frame.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Piper, David, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, 1625-1714, 1963, p. 69
  • Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 77
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 121
  • Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 53