Very Rare Survivor Of Anne Boleyn's Life At Hampton Court Palace At Bonhams Oak Sale In Oxford

A very rare oak mount of the royal badge of Anne Boleyn almost certainly from Hampton Court Palace, leads Bonhams Oak Interior Sale at Bonhams Oxford saleroom on Wednesday 18 September. It is estimated at £50,000-80,000.

Anne adopted – or was granted – her badge in early 1532 at the time of her secret marriage to Henry VIII. The badge is packed with symbolism from the falcon wearing an Imperial crown – signifying Henry's claims to imperial power following his rejection of the authority of the Pope – to the red and white roses denoting fertility that surrounded the tree stump on which the bird stands. The falcon quickly became associated with Anne, and was much in evidence at her Coronation Procession in May 1533.

Before his marriage to Anne, Henry had ordered extensive rebuilding work to Hampton Court Palace which he had acquired after the fall from power of its original owner, Cardinal Wolsey. This included the construction of the Great Hall, on whose hammerbeam roof mounts of Anne Boleyn's badge identical in size and design to the one in the Bonhams sale can still be found.

Bonhams head of Oak Furniture, David Houlston said, "It is almost certain that this oak mount was part of the screen in the Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace which was constructed and decorated to complement the hammerbeam roof. After Anne's execution in 1536, Henry ordered the obliteration of all traces of his former wife and it may be that the mount was removed at that time or possibly during restoration work in the 19th century. It is a very rare and remarkable survivor of a key time in English history and the brief life of one of our most popular Queens."

The Oak Interior Sale is being held at Bonhams Oxford for the first time. Other highlights include:

• An exceptionally rare mid-16th century joined oak draw-leaf table-cupboard, English, circa 1540-60. Estimate: £10,000-15,000.

• A rare Elizabeth I joined oak display/serving table, circa 1600. Estimate: £6,000-8,000.

• An extremely rare and documented pair of James I joined oak backstools, circa 1620. Estimate: £6,000-8,000.


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