A fine late 16th/early 17th century polychrome and gilt-decorated carved oak coat of arms, commemorating Anthony (1522 - 1592) and Dorothy Maxey (1527 - 1602) of Bradwell, Essex
Lot 166
A fine late 16th/early 17th century polychrome and gilt-decorated carved oak coat of arms, commemorating Anthony (1522 - 1592) and Dorothy Maxey (1527 - 1602) of Bradwell, Essex
£6,000 - 8,000
US$ 8,000 - 11,000

Lot Details
A fine late 16th/early 17th century polychrome and gilt-decorated carved oak coat of arms, commemorating Anthony (1522 - 1592) and Dorothy Maxey (1527 - 1602) of Bradwell, Essex
A fine late 16th/early 17th century polychrome and gilt-decorated carved oak coat of arms, commemorating Anthony (1522 - 1592) and Dorothy Maxey (1527 - 1602) of Bradwell, Essex
The convex shield exhibiting the arms of Anthony and Dorothy Maxey, side by side, that of the former bearing three Talbot heads quartering a griffin, that of the latter bearing three escallop shells on a chevron with a lion above quartering three pomegranates, all in a scroll-edged cartouche issuing from each top corner a foliate-carved cord terminating in a tassel, a tablet below carved with the initials AM and DM, in a moulded surround, 59.5cm wide x 78cm high (23in wide x 30.5in high)


  • Illustrated: M. Stephen, 'Early Domestic Oak Panels', Antique Collecting, 2013, Figure 10, where it is noted that it is related to a panel in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, probably [no reference is given] No. 404-1872, which is dated 1590 - 1610.

    This panel sold with a 1989 report from Norroy and Ulster King of Arms of the College of Arms identifying the quartered arms.

    This panel was probably once part of an overmantel at Bradwell Hall, Essex, where Anthony Maxey and his wife Dorothy resided until his death in 1592.

    It should be noted that the colours of the arms of Dorothy Maxey are inverted, perhaps suggesting that this was carved some time after her marriage to Anthony, and perhaps in the 1620s, when their son, Sir Henry, erected an alabaster and marble monument in their memory in the Church at Bradwell.

    The Maxeys:

    Dorothy, the daughter of Gregory (d. 1528) and Margaret (d. 1587) Bassett, was sole heiress at her father's death, and her wardship was purchased by Thomas Bonham (c. 1482 - 1532) of Stanway, MP for Essex in 1529, and Receiver-General of the Duchy of Lancaster for life. At a very young age, Dorothy married his son Robert Bonham, and their marriage continued at least until 1546/7, when a writ of mittimus was entered in the Exchequer with a copy of cancelled letters patent relating to Dorothy and Robert [National Archives E/163/11/5]. By him she had four children, Jeremy, Charles, Mary and Elizabeth.

    She then went on to marry Anthony Maxey of Great Saling Hall sometime after 1546/7, and their principal residence became Bradwell Hall (which she had inherited from her father). They also had four children William, Henry, Dorothy and Bridget.

    By Anthony's will [NA PROB 11/78/423] he bequeathed 'to Dorothie my wife all my plate with all my household / stuff of what qualitie or kinde whatsoever'. And although he left his eldest son 'all my bookes of all sortes and kindes whatsoever' he qualified '(except my newe bible) which I leave to my / wife for the usuall service in her howse which I desire her to contynewe that God may blesse her and her household to live in his feare.' Furthermore, he bequeathed the residue of his goods and chattels 'unto Dorothie my wife for ever'. Other bequests - of featherbeds and sheets - to his children, were to be supervised by her. By his will we learn that she grew 'hoppes' in the garden 'called my wives garden', owned a gelding and coach horses, and that he wore 'a signett of gold daily', 'a silke grograyne gowne' and 'a velvett jerkin'. The will appointed her an executrix.

    After Anthony's death in 1592, she married John Babington. One account of her states, 'she proved very unkind to her first husband's children, whom she in effect disinherited, settling her whole estate on the children of Anthony Maxey. And as for Jeremy Bonham, her eldest son, who should have been her heir, she made the poor man a pensioner upon his own estate, allowing him the miserable pittance of £10 a year for life out of her manor of Picots, in Great Saling. [See T. Wright, The History and Topography of the County of Essex (1886), Volume I, p. 265].

    It appears that her relations with her children by her second husband, Anthony Maxey, were not wholly cordial after his death either. An indenture of 1592, records an undertaking between her and her eldest son by him, Henry Maxey, the heir, in which because 'whereas after decease of said Anthony there were divers questions tending to unkindness', Dorothy undertakes 'that she will not during her life pull down or ruinate any of the houses or buildings on the site of the Manor of Bradwell to the intent to give away the same...And will not cut down any timber, trees above the age of 40 years growth...to the intent to sell or give the same, above the value of £10 [see Collectanea topographica et genealogica (1835), pp. 245 - 6]. Interestingly, she signs this document only with her mark.
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