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Plaster cast - The Arms of Cardinal Wolsey
  • The Arms of Cardinal Wolsey
    Unknown Giuntini, Andrew Lawrence
  • Enlarge image

The Arms of Cardinal Wolsey

  • Object:

    Plaster cast

  • Place of origin:

    Florence (made)
    Hampton Court (cast)

  • Date:

    1525 (made)
    ca. 1905 (cast)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown
    Giuntini, Andrew Lawrence ("Lorenzo") (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plaster cast

  • Museum number:

    REPRO.1905-1

  • Gallery location:

    Cast Courts, Room 46b, The Weston Cast Court , case WE

The original terracotta coat of arms is at Hampton Court. When Henry VIII (r. 1509-47) took possession of Cardinal Wolsey's palace, he superimposed his own arms and motto over Wolsey's. The Cardinal's arms remained concealed until the early 19th century, when the royal arms were taken down for restoration. Wolsey's Latin motto, 'DOMINVS MICHI ADIVTOR' (Lord be my helper) is incised beneath his heraldic device. The terracotta must have been produced by one of the Florentine artists who had come over to work in Britain in the 16th century. The plaster cast was commissioned by the Museum relatively late in the formation of the cast collection, after it was recommended in 1904. The cast itself, also made by an Italian craftsman in London, cost £15, and in addition £4 10s. was paid for scaffolding to be erected at Hampton Court.

Physical description

Plaster cast of the terracotta arms of Cardinal Wolsey, by an unidentified Florentine sculptor, 1525, in the Clock Court, Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Court, (over Anne Boleyn's Gateway and beneath the Astronomical clock).

Place of Origin

Florence (made)
Hampton Court (cast)

Date

1525 (made)
ca. 1905 (cast)

Artist/maker

Unknown
Giuntini, Andrew Lawrence ("Lorenzo") (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Plaster cast

Dimensions

Height: 147.5 cm, Width: 124.5 cm

Object history note

Purchased from Lorenzo Giuntini in 1905 for £15 together with museum no. 1905-2.

Historical context note

The motto of Cardinal Wolsey (1471-1530), "DOMINVS MICHI ADIVTOR", is incised beneath the arms at Hampton Court. When Henry VIII (reigned 1509-47) took possession of Wolsey's palace, he superimposed his own arms and motto over Wolsey's. The latter's arms remained concealed until the early 19th century (pre 1845), when the king's arms were taken down for restoration. At the time of their discovery, the arms were surmounted by a lunette containing the monogram of TW with a cord and tassels and the date 1525, shown in the engraving (from the Gentleman's Magazine, XXIV, 1845, facing page 593). This lunette disappeared at some time before 1894.

Descriptive line

Plaster cast of the terracotta arms of Cardinal Wolsey, in the Clock Court, Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Court, by an unidentified Florentine sculptor, Florence, 1525, cast probably by Lorenzo Giuntini, ca. 1905

Materials

Plaster

Techniques

Casting

Subjects depicted

Coats of arms

Categories

Sculpture; Architecture; Plaster Cast

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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