Henry VIII ceramic mug
Depicting the portrait of Henry VIII from the Royal Armouries collection (Object Number: I.51)
Purchased from Appleby Bros, William IV St., W.C.1, October, 1957, and presented to the Armouries by Mr. Rupert L. Joseph, 'of New York'. Formerly at Butleigh Court, Glastonbury, Somerset. Sold as the property of Captain Richard Neville at Christies, 5 April 1946, to a dealer called Berendt for 20 Guineas. It was then catalogued as: 'G.STREETES: Portrait of Henry VIII in grey dress, embroidered red cloak, with fur collar, wearing the Jewel and chain of the Garter - on panel - 41 in. by 34 in.'
According to a note signed by J.G.Mann and dated November 1957, in the file, it was cleaned by Appleby's restorer: 'when they got it, it was quite black, the jewels in the cap and the pillar behind the king's right shoulder were invisible. The cleaning....revealed a curious 'pendimento' (sic) of a baldric of pearls across the tunic from the left shoulder, but 'under' the slashing'.
This is one of the standard, late Holbeinesque portraits derived from the Whitehall Palace Privy Chamber wall-painting of 1537 (see Strong 'English Icon' (1969) pp.5, 98). English School, 16th Century.
Henry is depicted wearing a jewelled cap, grey doublet and embroidered scarlet gown trimmed with fur. In his right hand he holds gloves, and below his left, on which is a ring enamelled with the royal arms, hangs an elaborately wrought dagger, 'Mannerist' in style and of a kind made in Italy. He wears a richly jewelled collar below which is a gold chain ensigned with his initial H and suspended thence the George of the Order of the Garter into which he was admitted in 1495. Diagonally across his breast, from the left shoulder, is a baldric of pearls; it is a curious feature which, passing under the bejewelled and bunched silver threading holding the rouching of the doublet, could have been for a sword only if Henry were left-handed. There is, however, evidence of an under-painting.
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