Carved oak panel, 1500-1530. Museum no. 2011H-1899

Carved oak panel, 1500-1530. Museum no. 2011H-1899

Carved oak
Height 63.4 cm x Width 19.5 cm x Depth 1 cm
Museum no. 2011H-1899

This is part of a set of carved oak panelling that originally covered the walls of a room in the Abbey House, Waltham Abbey, Essex.

Abbey House was acquired by Sir Anthony Denny (1501-1549), after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s, and finally demolished in 1770. The carvings were placed in a town house in Waltham Abbey, before being acquired by the V&A in 1899.

This frame is a very early example of 'Antique' or 'Romayne' (Roman) decoration, which derived from Italy and became widespread in England from about 1520.

Other panels from this room contain the portcullis and Tudor rose of Henry VIII (reigned 1509-1547) and the pomegranate, the emblem of Katherine of Aragon, whom he divorced in 1529. These emblems were potent symbols of Pre-Reformation England. They suggest that the panelling was installed before Sir Anthony Denny bought the house, since he was a loyal supporter of the King during the last years of his reign.