Jane Seymour thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition

Jane Seymour

Stained Glass Panel
ca. 1537 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This stained glass medallion shows the arms of Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour. On the left of this shield are the royal arms of England, on the right Jane Seymour's arms. They show her descent from five different families who bore coats of arms. The sixth section (top left when viewing, just to the right of centre) has the coat of arms granted her by Henry on their marriage. This is known as a 'coat of augmentation' and was given to elevate her status. Jane was not of royal blood and had served as lady-in-waiting to both of the King's previous wives.
The shield displays the rich effects that could be achieved by scratching through 'flashed' glass to reveal the clear glass beneath the thin ruby layer. The clear glass could then be stained, as with the royal lions. The fleurs-de-lis are stained yellow on light-blue coloured glass.
The Crown's use of heraldic glass as a means of propaganda developed significantly during Henry VIII's reign (1509-1547). Decorated windows of this type, showing the King's arms combined with those of his Queen, were often used in the royal palaces. Given Henry's succession of wives, they were an architectural feature that required regular alteration.

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleJane Seymour (generic title)
Materials and techniques
Clear, coloured and flashed glass, painted with brown pigment and yellow stain; the wreath perhaps added later.
Brief description
Heraldic stained glass panel depicting the arms of Jane Seymour, clear and coloured glass, leaded, with details painted in brown/black pigment and silver stain, England, about 1537
Physical description
This stained glass medallion shows the arms of Henry VIII impaled with those of his third wife Jane Seymour: On a shield, France modern and England quarterly impaling quarterly of six 1. Seymour augmentation 2. Seymour 3. Beauchamp of Hache 4. Esturmy 5. MacWilliam 6. Coker, the whole encircled by a green wreath bearing five red and two white roses, clasped at the foot by a lion mask, and with a crown above.
The shield displays the rich effects that can be achieved by scratching through 'flashed' red glass to reveal the clear glass beneath the thin ruby layer. The clear glass could then be stained, as with the royal lions. The fleurs-de-lis are stained yellow on light-blue coloured glass. Different glass working techniques can be observed in the near identical panel C.454-1919, also at the V&A.
Dimensions
  • Sight height: 43.3cm
  • Sight width: 27.9cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 31/01/2001 by DA Display dimensions are for the outside of frame; frame width is 4cm; framed dims provided by DA August 2001
Gallery label
British Galleries: The royal arms are impaled with those of Jane Seymour (1509-1537), third wife of Henry VIII. The king's arms appear on the left of each medallion, hers on the right. Roundels such as these were made for great windows in royal palaces and the houses of Henry VIII's leading courtiers. The arms would have been repeated on other furnishings and on walls and ceilings in paint, plaster or papier-mâché.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Said to have come from Mansfield House, Highgate; acquired in 1919 from Arthur L. Radford, Devon.
In 1536 the arms of Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour, were universally substituted for that of her predecessor Anne Boleyn, who had been executed in May of the same year. On the left of this shield are the royal arms of England, on the right Jane Seymour's arms. They show her descent from five different families who bore coats of arms. The sixth section (top left when viewing, just to the right of centre) has the coat of arms granted her by Henry on their marriage. This is known as a 'coat of augmentation' and was given to elevate her status. Jane was not of royal blood and had served as lady-in-waiting to both of the King's previous wives.
Historical context
The Crown's use of heraldic glass as a means of propaganda developed significantly during Henry VIII's reign (1509-1547). Decorated windows of this type, showing the King's arms combined with those of his Queen, were often used in the royal palaces. Given Henry's succession of wives, they were an architectural feature that required regular alteration.
Summary
This stained glass medallion shows the arms of Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour. On the left of this shield are the royal arms of England, on the right Jane Seymour's arms. They show her descent from five different families who bore coats of arms. The sixth section (top left when viewing, just to the right of centre) has the coat of arms granted her by Henry on their marriage. This is known as a 'coat of augmentation' and was given to elevate her status. Jane was not of royal blood and had served as lady-in-waiting to both of the King's previous wives.
The shield displays the rich effects that could be achieved by scratching through 'flashed' glass to reveal the clear glass beneath the thin ruby layer. The clear glass could then be stained, as with the royal lions. The fleurs-de-lis are stained yellow on light-blue coloured glass.
The Crown's use of heraldic glass as a means of propaganda developed significantly during Henry VIII's reign (1509-1547). Decorated windows of this type, showing the King's arms combined with those of his Queen, were often used in the royal palaces. Given Henry's succession of wives, they were an architectural feature that required regular alteration.
Bibliographic reference
Collection
Accession number
C.455-1919

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Record createdMarch 27, 2003
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