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Bust - Henry VIII

Henry VIII

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1756 - ca. 1767 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Town, Robert (attributed to)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved cannel coal with paste emerald fastening

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This bust, attributed to Robert Town (active 1756-1767), is made of the local seams of cannel, a fossilised material resembling jet, found in the coal seams near Wigan, Lancashire. A portrait medallion of Henry VIII in cannel coal of about 1755, also attributed to Town, is in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Physical description

Portrait of Henry VIII carved in cannel coal with paste emerald fastening to the ruff.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1756 - ca. 1767 (made)


Town, Robert (attributed to)

Materials and Techniques

Carved cannel coal with paste emerald fastening

Marks and inscriptions

'Ao DNI 1528' is inscribed on the back, however the bust is a historicising piece produced about 1756-67.
'Anno Domini 1528'
Latin; On back.; Town, Robert; about 1756-67


Height: 42.5 cm, Width: 11.50 in

Object history note

Purchased from Mr P. Albert, London in 1870 for £20.

Descriptive line

Bust, of Henry VIII, attributed to Robert Town, English, ca. 1756-1767; inscribed 1528

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

Diane Bilbey with Marjorie Trusted. British sculpture 1470 to 2000: a concise catalogue of the collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A Publications, 2002, p. 159, cat. no. 215
List of Objects in the Art Division, South Kensington, Acquired During the Year 1870, Arranged According to the Dates of Acquisition. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., p. 6
Hugh, Tait. Cannel Carvings and Robert Town of Wigan. The Connoisseur. 158, 1965, pp. 92-99
Leeuwenberg, Japp. Beeldhouwkunst in het Rijksmuseum. The Hague, 1973, p. 490, no. 855


Cannel coal




Royalty; Sculpture; Portraits


Sculpture Collection

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