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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1554 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Champlevé enamel on copper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 58, case 5

Object Type
This plaque may have been commissioned as a memorial. Similar ones can be seen in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, where they denote the stalls reserved for the Knights of the Order of the Garter.

Sir Thomas Tonge (d.1536) was Clarenceux King of Arms, an important post in the College of Arms. His wife Susan (d.1565) survived her husband by 30 years and became First Lady of the Privy Chamber to Mary I. As a Roman Catholic, she would not have been able to commission such a plaque until Mary Tudor became Queen in 1553, 18 years after the death of Thomas. Protestants did not approve of memorials of this sort.

Materials & Making
Enamelling was the only way of colouring metal permanently. It was often used to depict coats of arms as colour is an essential part of the heraldic language. Specialist enamellers worked on both precious metals (gold and silver) and on base metals (copper and brass).

This plaque may originally have been made for the church of St Mary Overy, London, now Southwark Cathedral.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1554 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Champlevé enamel on copper

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed 'The armys of the ryght worshepful Maister Tonge otherwyse called Maister Clarencivs and mesteris Susan hys wyfe'; the French motto above translates as 'Hope in God'


Height: 17.2 cm, Width: 13.3 cm

Object history note

Possibly commissioned by Susan Tonge (died after 1560) as a memorial to Sir Thomas Tonge (died 1536)
Made in England

Descriptive line

Garter Stall Plate. Enamelled plaque with the arms of Tonge

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This plaque shows the arms of Sir Thomas Tonge and his wife Susan. Sir Thomas held important posts at the College of Arms during the reign of Henry VIII. Similar enamelled plaques were used to denote seats reserved for the Knights of the Order of the Garter at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Dated 1554




Metalwork Collection

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