Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Unidentified Artist
"The Allegorie of a Faire Ladye"
Other Titles
Alternate Title: A Riddle
Work Type
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Oil on panel
45.7 x 54.3 cm (18 x 21 3/8 in.)
frame: 66.9 x 57.3 x 3.7 cm (26 5/16 x 22 9/16 x 1 7/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: in image, above scene: Mi faire ladie I praie you tell me, what & of whence be yonder three / That cum out of ye castell in such degree, & of there decente & nativete
  • inscription: in image, below scene: Sir the one is my brother by my father's syde, the truth you to showe / The other by my mother's syde, be my brother also / The thyrde is my own sonne, lawfullye begott / And all be sonnes to my husbande, that sleapeth one my lappe, / Without hurte of lyneage, in anye degree, / Shewe me by reason, howe this thynge maye be.
  • label: on back of panel, handwritten in ink: [in black:] Sir Thomas Cave, Knt. / of Stanford, Co. North- / ampton, 1st husband / [red:] man reclining; [in black:] = Elizabeth Danvers, / dau. & coheir of Sir / John Danvers of / Waterstock Co. Oxon / [in red:] lady seated; [in black:] = James Skeffington / son of William / Skeffington of / Fisherwick, Co. Staff. / by Joanna Leveson / [in red:] brother to Lady Cave's / son in law; [in black:] Roger Cave / of Stanford / Co. North- / ampton / [in red:] one of the / three men; [in black:] = Margaret Cecil / married circa 1562 / sister of William, / Lord Burghley, / Lord Treasurer of / England; Mary Cave, married / to William Skeffington / of Skeffington / son of Thomas Skeffington / by Mary Stanley / [in red:] one of the three men; [in black:] Alice Cave, married / circa 1570 John / Skeffington / of Fisherwick, Co., Stafford. (son of / William Skeffington / by Joanne Levison) / [in red:] one of the three men
  • inscription: on back of panel, stencilled in black: 915EW
  • label: on back of panel, printed in black: Property of Capt. G. Pitt-Rivers, / of the Manor House Hinton / St. Mary, and formed part / of the collection of the last / Lord Rivers
  • inscription: on back of frame, handwritten in blue ballpoint: Elizabethan primitive panel
  • inscription: upper center, white chalk: 557 / [illeg.]
Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt Rivers (1827-1900)? to ? Alexander Edward Lane Fox-Pitt-Rivers (1855-1927), by descent; to Captain George Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers (1890-1966), sold [through Christie's, London, April 5, 1929, part of lot 26]; to Tudor Craig. [Julius Weitzner, New York], sold; to Robert Rantoul Endicott, gift; to Fogg Art Museum, 1959
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Robert Rantoul Endicott
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990)

Karen Hearn, ed., Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England, exh. cat. (London, 1995), pp. 98-99, fig. 41

Old Master & British Paintings, Evening Sale, auct. cat. (London, December 8, 2010), p. 40, under lot 14

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at