Portrait miniature, Queen Elizabeth I by Nicholas Hilliard.

Portrait miniature, Queen Elizabeth I by Nicholas Hilliard.

Portrait miniature of Queen Elizabeth I
Nicholas Hilliard
About 1586-1587
Watercolour on vellum stuck to playing card
Museum no. 23-1975

The simulated jewels in Tudor miniatures were normally created using silver as a paint. The diamonds on the sitter's hair have tarnished due to oxidation (circled). Paint loss and blackened lead white can also be seen on this miniature. Micrograph x10.