Local Interest: A superb set of four early Elizabethan carved oak 'Romayne' bust portrait panels Circa 1560, probably depicting members of the Stanley Family of Hooton Hall, Wirral
Lot 688
A superb set of four early Elizabethan carved oak 'Romayne' bust portrait panels Circa 1560, probably depicting members of the Stanley Family of Hooton Hall, Wirral
Sold for £9,840 (US$ 16,079) inc. premium

Lot Details
A superb set of four early Elizabethan carved oak 'Romayne' bust portrait panels Circa 1560 A superb set of four early Elizabethan carved oak 'Romayne' bust portrait panels Circa 1560 Local Interest: A superb set of four early Elizabethan carved oak 'Romayne' bust portrait panels Circa 1560, probably depicting members of the Stanley Family of Hooton Hall, Wirral Local Interest: A superb set of four early Elizabethan carved oak 'Romayne' bust portrait panels Circa 1560, probably depicting members of the Stanley Family of Hooton Hall, Wirral Local Interest: A superb set of four early Elizabethan carved oak 'Romayne' bust portrait panels Circa 1560, probably depicting members of the Stanley Family of Hooton Hall, Wirral Local Interest: A superb set of four early Elizabethan carved oak 'Romayne' bust portrait panels Circa 1560, probably depicting members of the Stanley Family of Hooton Hall, Wirral
A superb set of four early Elizabethan carved oak 'Romayne' bust portrait panels
Circa 1560, probably depicting members of the Stanley Family of Hooton Hall, Wirral
Comprising man and wife, both with plumed hat, she in a bodice with ruffed shoulders and frilled lawn, both facing to their sinister, and two daughters, both facing to their dexter, all within carved circular surround between banners, each panel 30.5cm wide x 48cm high, (12" x 18"), in an associated later single frame, perhaps an overmantel or the back from a settle, overall dimensions 164cm wide x 68cm high, (64.5" x 26.75")

Footnotes

  • Provenance:

    These fine panels were in situ at Hooton Hall, and were acquired by the parents of current owner upon their acquisition of the Hall itself in the 1960s.(ex. inf. vendor).

    It is suggested, given the ascribed dating and historic location of these panels, that they most probably represent the following sitters (left to right):

    1.Sir Rowland Stanley, (1518 - 1614).

    Buried at Eastham at the remarkable age (particularly for the period) of 95 - at that time the oldest knight in England.
    Made a Knight Batchelor in 1553, the day after the Coronation of Queen Mary.
    Son of William Stanley (d.1546) and of Grace Griffith (daughter of Sir William Griffith Knt., Chamberlain of North Wales).
    One of seven children.
    Married three times, firstly to:
    Margaret Aldersey (daughter of Hugh Aldersey of Chester). Hugh Aldersey was Mayor of Chester in 1528, 1541 and 1546. She bore him two sons, William and John. Secondly to:
    Ursula (as below), and finally to:
    Jane Brown, widow of Richard Brown of Capenhurst, at Eastham.

    A mistress, Sybil Thomson, is also recorded, as are two further children, Edward (illegitimate) and Anne, in addition to the two daughters listed below.

    Rowland was made Sheriff of Cheshire in 1577.

    2.His second wife Ursula, daughter of Sir Thomas Smith of Hough. Believed born circa 1530 and married circa 1550.

    3.Their daughter Margaret. Born circa 1555. Married John Egerton in 1583.

    4.Their daughter Mary. Married John Poole of Poole.

    The Stanley family are one of the more notable families recorded in the North West during the later Medieval and early Modern period. Their genealogy is traceable to before 1300, firstly at their historic seat of Storeton, Cheshire, and thence to Hooton Hall itself, when in 1310 William de Stanley inherited the hall as well as the Master Forestship of Wirral. Hooton Hall was rebuilt as Hooton Manor in 1488, and was the seat of the Earls of Stanley, senior line of the Earls of Derby, for over 500 years.

    The Stanley family also had links with the similarly prominent Gerrard family, stretching back to the second half of the fifteenth century, when Margaret Stanley, daughter of Sir William Stanley (1439-1511) married Peter Gerard of Kingsley and Bryn (d. 1492). There also exist two 16th century land agreements between the two families, mentioned in the Pleadings and Depositions in the Duchy Court of Lancaster, and in a will of 1575 where Dame Jane Gerard of Bromley makes a bequest to her sister Ellen Stanley. John Gerrard, a Jesuit priest and acquaintance of Catesby, became implicated in The Gunpowder Plot of 1604.

    The Stanleys certainly had a penchant for displaying their lineage - a set of eight 16th century panels (dated 1578) depicting Norman earls, now in Chester Town Hall, are recorded as having been at Hooton before their presentation to the city by Sir Thomas Gibbons in 1883. They showed Norman earls in Tudor armour, perhaps drawing a parallel from the earl of that time back to a previous age. One of the subjects was Edric Slyvestris (Eadric the Wild), supposed ancestor of the Sylvesters of Storeton (which as discussed above was the original seat of the Stanleys prior to Hooton Hall). In addition, Thomas Moule, The English Counties Delineated, Vol. II, 1837, p. 288 mentions of Hooton Hall "One room painted with figures of the Earls of Chester in the panels" and, of the Hall at Nether Pool "one of the most venerable specimens in this county...Some of the oaken panels in an upper chamber are ornamented with heads in bas-relief...Over a chimney-piece in the hall is the date of 1574, but he house was probably built in the reign of Henry VIII" It is not recorded, but the best house in such a small village at this time may well have been the house of John Poole of Poole, who as mentioned above married Rowland Stanley's second daughter, Mary.

    In addition, Smithalls Hall near Bolton, a second house with Stanley family connections (Sir William Stanley's daughter, Anne or Agnes, having married the owner John Barton's son, Andrew, circa 1514) was known to exhibit similar panels. In "Description of the Country from thirty to fifty miles round Manchester", Dr. Aikin, writing in 1795, says: "At Smithells is still remaining a wainscotted room, the panels of which are adorned with upwards of fifty heads cut in the wood which are supposed to represent different persons of the family". By 1824 a great part of the panelling had been taken away (see 'Townships: Halliwell', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5 (1911), pp. 12-20.

    Comparable panels are extremely rare, but for an unusual double-headed panel with suggested date of 1540, the left bust displaying similar feathered plume and lawn, see Sotheby's, 22nd May 2002 lot 284, re-sold 29th October 2008, lot 291.
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