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  • Place of origin:

    England (carved)

  • Date:

    1539-40 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oak, filled with verdigris chalk ground

  • Credit Line:

    Given by H. A. Tipping

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Object Type
The panel is part of series, decorated with classical motifs, thought to have come from a room at Painswick Park, Gloucestershire. One of the panels includes the arms of Sir William and Lady Kingston.

Historical Associations
Sir William Kingston (died 1540) was a Knight of the Garter and the Comptroller of the Royal Household. In 1524 he was appointed Constable of the Tower of London. He received Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, into custody at the Tower in 1536, just before her execution.

By the 1530s, classical ornaments were widely used in decoration. They were derived from Italian ornament and would have been described then as 'Romayne' or 'Antique'.

Materials & Making
The background of this oak panel has gouged out and filled with chalk and verdigris (a greenish blue substance that forms on copper and brass). This practice was well known in north-east Italy from about 1400, but a novelty in England.

Physical description

A group of ten panels with incised ornament and sunk background filled with black composition; the designs consist of heroic heads, scrolls and conventional ornament, with the initials R.P., and the sacred monogram. Two of the panels have the arms of Sir William Kingston surrounded by the Garter, another those of Lady Kingston.

W.52-1913 - mermaid, infant, part of a male figure with foliage
W.53-1913 - coat of arms quartered 1st and 4th azure, a cross or between four leopards argent; 2nd and 3rd ermine, a chevron, and in chief a leopard's face (the arms of Sir William Kingston) surrounded by the garter
W.37-1918 man's head (wearing hat)in profile facing left, supported by two conjoined pairs of scaly creatures
W.37a-1918 shield of arms (dexter - Sir William Kingston; sinister - Lady Kingston?) centred between two scrolls
W.37b-1918 man's head in profile (wearing helmet, facing left), between a pair of grotesque leafy creatures wearing helmets with accompanying small dogs
W.37c-1918 - shield with crowned lion rampant (facing left) between scrolling leaves
W.37d-1918 - candelabrum (off-centre) between scrolls with jackal-head ornament
W.37e-1918 - shield (arms of Sir William Kingston) surrounded by the garter, between leafy ornament
W.37f-1918 - cartouche with initials RP centred between gothic leafy ornament
W.37g-1918 - cartouche with sacred IHS monogram between gothic leafy ornament

Place of Origin

England (carved)


1539-40 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Oak, filled with verdigris chalk ground


Height: 25.2 cm, Height: 63 cm, Depth: 2.5 cm

Object history note

Given by H. Avray Tipping, Mounton House, Chepstow (RF 13/4373M and 18/2369

The ten similar panels (W.52-1913, W.53-1913, and W.37 to f-1918) were bought by the donor in Bristol, and it is suggested that they may have come from Painswick Park, Gloucestershire, which was one of the residences of Sir William Kingston (created KG 1539, died 1540), or Haxley Abbey.

Descriptive line

English; c.1540; oak with paste inlay

English; c.1540; arms of Kingston

English; c.1540; romayne head

incised ornament, black compo; English, 1500-50, rampant lion

English; c.1540; decorative border

incised ornament, black compo; English, 1500-50, 8 1/2" x 1/ to 2/ 2"

incised ornament, black compo; English, 1500-50, letters RP on cartouche

English; c.1540; IHS in cartouche

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Percy Macquoid: History of English Furniture. Vol. I. The Age of Oak (London, 1904), fig.43

Another form of decorating panels of furniture at this time was by cutting out the ground, leaving the rest of the surface for the design; the sunk ground was then filled in with hard coloured composition. The panels (fig. 43) are either from the top of a long armoire or from the overdoors and overmantel of a room. They were made for Sir William Kingston, Constable of the Tower, who was the gaoler of both Anne Boleyn and Weston. He was created Knight of the Garter April 24, 1539, and died in 1540, so their date is conclusively fixed by the panel, unfortunately mutilated, bearing his arms, within a garter, Quarterly, 1st and 4th azure, a cross between four leopards’ faces argent; 2nd and 3rd ermines, a chevron and in chief a leopard’s face. The other arms are those of Lady Kingston, and the remaining panels of this series are decorated with heroic heads and scrolls of conventional ornament. It was solely through the report made by this Sir William Kingston to Cromwell of what Anne Boleyn had during her captivity told Lady Kingston in confidence, that young Sir Francis Weston first became implicated.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
The decoration in these panels includes popular Renaissance motifs. The helmeted heads are based on those on Roman coins. The symmetrical, scrolling, leafy forms are typical of Renaissance ornament. On the flat panel (18), gouged-out sections were filled with a mixture of chalk and green colouring. This was a new technique at the time. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Associated with Painswick Park, Gloucestershire, one of the residences of Sir William Kingston


Woodwork; Interiors


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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