The young sitter is identified in the inscription as Carlo de Simiane, Principe di Montafia and Marchese di Pianezza and Livorno. While one Carlo de Simiane of a similar title was born in 1608 and died in 1677, this portrait more likely depicts his son of the same name, born in 1634. The inscription states that the boy was seven and a half years old at the time of the sitting which would therefore date this painting to circa 1641. The long "love lock" worn in the child's hair and his square toed, sagging boots would be in keeping with fashions of that date.
The canvas has an old glue relining and the painting overall is in good, stable condition. The paint surface is a little abraded in the face and hair but the colors and detail are well retained in the costume. Inspection under ultraviolet light is impeded somewhat by the uneven, milky varnish but reveals extensive retouching throughout. There appears to be an old repaired and retouched tear running horizontally approx. 6 in. through the curtain, upper left.
The painting is ready to hang in its current state. Offered in a simple black varnished frame. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.