Artist signed C.R. and date c.1648, British King Charles I who ruled from 1625-1649. In January of 1649 he was executed (frequent quarrels with Parliament, civil war, his encarcertain), and if you will take the time to read the hand written pleading on the back of this painting, you will realize you hold in your hand a testimonial made during his trial. One can only guess, or perhaps learn with some history of whom among Parliament in that era had initials, H W, which appear at the very bottom of the June 30th, A.D. 1648 plea for his life. "This repentant Prince was, if ever any, a most worthy and honest man,". . . . and on. I have never had it appraised nor evaluated as an historical document of importance. Someone should! My pleasure has been in the painting of an ill-fated King, and in the kindness of whomever is H W, in 1648, trying to save the Regent he thought a most worthy and honest man.
I have owned this painting for decades. I bought it 'out of frame', paying dearly for it, and only recently purchased an antique French frame which could house it. It's been archived in acid-free archival tissue and pressed in a book to prevent any warp. I have not even displayed it for lack of the frame to keep it flat and safe. My intention was to find a 17th century frame, sandwich the painting between glass, front and back, so one could easily access the text on back. I never did. The frame is a 19th century French one, large enough to protect and house it.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, the painting is beautifully done in gouache on natural wafer, typical of the genre. The age is accurate. The parchment round affixed to the backside is a valuable historical document you can quite easily read. History in your hands. The frame is at least 350 years newer, c.1890-1900, yet still a valuable antique in its own right, and is in fine condition. My asking price is exactly what I paid for the painting alone, decades ago.