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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1590-1610 (made)
    after 1720 (repainted)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved and painted oak

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 58, case WN

Object Type
This panel bears the arms of the Moule family of Northampton, impaling those of the Hawkins family of Kidderminster, Worcestershire, and Rushall, Staffordshire. It would have been prominently positioned in the house, for example over the door of a large screen built across a hall or above a fireplace in a chamber, in order to emphasise the importance of the owner's family.

Materials & Making
The panel is of carved oak, and would probably have had highlights picked out. The presence of Prussian blue suggests that the current painted surface dates from after 1720.

From the Middle Ages heraldry was often used to decorate more costly items or conspicuous parts of both the exteriors and interiors of a house, in order to enhance the prestige of the owner. In this panel the coats of arms are placed in a highly fashionable frame of about 1600, in a design similar to prints by Hans Vredeman de Vries (1527-?1606), an engraver and designer who spent most of his working life in Antwerp. Carvers, like silversmiths, painters and embroiderers, often used published prints as inspiration for decorative frames around coats of arms or images.

Physical description

Panel, carved in relief with a shield of arms, painted and gilt, surrounded by scrolls and festoons of fruit, with tritons blowing horns. The arms are those of Moule (barry of four, gules and arg.) impaling Hawkings of Co. Salop, and Rushall, Co. Stafford (ar. a hawk ppr. beaked and legged or, standing on a trunk of a tree vert).

Place of Origin

England (made)


1590-1610 (made)
after 1720 (repainted)



Materials and Techniques

Carved and painted oak


Height: 139.7 cm, Width: 113 cm, Depth: 6 cm

Object history note

Possibly commissioned by the Moule family of Northampton, whose arms are shown with those of the Hawkins family
Made in England based on a design by Vredeman de Vries (born in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, 1527, died, probably in The Hague, possibly in 1606).

A Wells-Cole has pointed out that the design is based on a design for a cartouche attributed to Jan Vredeman de Vries) in Clemens Perret, Exercitatio Alphabetica, Antwerp 1569, pl.XV

Descriptive line

Oak panel, rectangular, carved with a shield of arms, surrounded by scrolls, festoons of fruits and Tritons blowing horns. English, early 17th century.

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

From: H. Clifford Smith, Catalogue of English Furniture & Woodwork
(London 1930), 660, Plate 48

Labels and date

Panel, oak. English, early 17th century [1975]
English, about 1600
Oak carved, painted and gilt decoration
404 - 1872

The arms are those of Moule of Northampton impaling Hawkings of Kidderminster, Shropshire, and Rushall, Northamptonshire. [1984]

Pen and ink wash.

In St. John's Church, Chester.
This drawing was formerly in the collection of John Talman (1677-1726) and of C.J. Richardson (1806-1871) and was attributed to William Talman. [pre October 2000]
British Galleries:
The surround to this coat of arms shows the Renaissance motif of strapwork as used in wood. Strapwork resembles flat strips of leather, bent to suggest bold, three-dimensional shapes. The panel may come from the overmantel of a fireplace. [27/03/2003]




Carving; Painting (coating); Gilding

Subjects depicted

Shields (motifs); Tritons; Fruit; Festoons


British Galleries; Woodwork


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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