Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition

A Putto holding the Crown and coat of arms of Ireland

Relief
ca. 1686 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This relief showing a putto holding the crown and coat of arms of Ireland forms a pair with that showing a putto holding the crown and coat of arms of Scotland (Museum no. A.3-1973). The shape, subject and style of both suggest they may have formed part of an altarpiece erected in Whitehall Palace during the short reign of James II, who was a Roman Catholic.
The altarpiece at Whitehall Palace was dismantled following the fire of 1695, and re-erected as the high altar of Westminster Abbey in 1706. In about 1820 it was moved to Burnham-on-Sea, in Somerset. The figurative style of the putti recalls both the surviving fragments from the altarpiece at Burnham-on-Sea, and other known works by Grinling Gibbons and Arnold Quellin.

Although celebrated as a carver of wood sculpture, Gibbons also produced a number of marble church monuments. During the period in which Quellin worked with Gibbons, some important pieces were produced; Quellin had been trained in the Netherlands and was highly skilled as a marble carver. Gibbons may have met him in Amsterdam, where he too probably trained.
read Grinling Gibbons – an introduction Grinling Gibbons (1648 – 1721) is Britain's most celebrated wood carver, his name synonymous with an evergreen style of decoration that transformed the interiors of many of the nation's greatest palaces, churches and institutions. He was also a designer and ran a flourishing business suppl...
object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Marble
Brief Description
Relief, marble, Putto holding the crown and coat of arms of Ireland, style of Arnold Quellin or Grinling Gibbons, England, about 1686
Physical Description
Relief, marble. A Putto holding the Crown of Ireland. The naked putto, looking towards his left, stands on a leafy mound. He supports with both hands a crown which surmounts a large auricular cartouche. On the cartouche there is a harp.
Dimensions
  • Height: 95.6cm
  • Width: 69.2cm
  • Weight: 100kg
  • Depth: 13cm
Credit line
Given by Dr W.L. Hildburgh FSA
Object history
Bought together with A.3-1973 from Peter Hone, 110 Islington High Street, London, N1, for £600, using funds from the Hildburgh bequest.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This relief showing a putto holding the crown and coat of arms of Ireland forms a pair with that showing a putto holding the crown and coat of arms of Scotland (Museum no. A.3-1973). The shape, subject and style of both suggest they may have formed part of an altarpiece erected in Whitehall Palace during the short reign of James II, who was a Roman Catholic.

The altarpiece at Whitehall Palace was dismantled following the fire of 1695, and re-erected as the high altar of Westminster Abbey in 1706. In about 1820 it was moved to Burnham-on-Sea, in Somerset. The figurative style of the putti recalls both the surviving fragments from the altarpiece at Burnham-on-Sea, and other known works by Grinling Gibbons and Arnold Quellin.



Although celebrated as a carver of wood sculpture, Gibbons also produced a number of marble church monuments. During the period in which Quellin worked with Gibbons, some important pieces were produced; Quellin had been trained in the Netherlands and was highly skilled as a marble carver. Gibbons may have met him in Amsterdam, where he too probably trained.
Bibliographic Reference
Bilbey, Diane with Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470 to 2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum., London, 2002, pp. 11, cat. no. 13.
Collection
Accession Number
A.4-1973

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record createdAugust 14, 2006
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