The two men arranged to have the Cobbe painting subjected to a battery of scientific tests — tree-ring-dating to determine the age of the wood panel, X-ray examination at the Hamilton-Kerr Institute at Cambridge University and infrared reflectography. The tests produced convincing evidence that the panel dated from around 1610 and was the source for the Folger painting, among others. Wells is now sure of it. "I don't think anyone who sees [the Cobbe painting] would doubt this is the original," he says. "It's a much livelier painting, a much more alert face, a more intelligent and sympathetic face."
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