‘Extraordinarily rare’ wooden panel made for Anne of Cleves has been unveiled at Hever Castle
PUBLISHED: 16:45 20 March 2017
The panel is one of two in existance, and is believed to have come from one of her homes
Hever Castle unveiled an ‘extraordinarily rare’ wooden panel, believed to have been made for former resident Anne of Cleves, at a reception today.
The oak panel which shows Anne’s - the fourth wife of Henry VIII - insignia, alongside the monogram AC, is believed to have come from one of her homes, though it’s not known which one. It is only one of two panels to exist, and dates back to 1544.
The panel was discovered to be up for auction by author Sarah Morris, who co-wrote a book called In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII, and historian Dr Jonathan Foyle.
They found that the panel was being auctioned in Bedfordshire, and notified the current owners of Hever Castle, the Guthrie family, who then purchased it.
Historian Dr Jonathan Foyle states that Anne of Cleve’s tomb at Westminster Abbey replicates the design of the panel unveiled.
He said: “The Tudor age has long fascinated us, but historians lament the very poor survival of royal interiors, a loss due more to the destruction of the civil war than changing fashions. On very rare occasions, surviving relics appear that transform our understanding of how palaces were dressed for kings, queens and their audiences.
“This extremely fine oak panel with an ‘AC’ monogram, which dates to the 1540s, was made for a house of Anne of Cleves (1515-57), the fourth queen of Henry VIII for only the first six months of 1540.
“Anne remained in England at their divorce at a number of houses, and then outlived the king by a decade. Hever Castle was owned by Anne of Cleves until her death in 1557, when her unfinished tomb at Westminster Abbey replicated the design used for this panel. It is deeply fitting that her panel should reside here permanently.
“It is an extraordinarily rare object and illuminates the real quality of Tudor interiors. It is one of a kind.
“Hever has a leading role in bringing back to life the story of the Tudor monarchs. They are a curatorial host for the nation’s treasures. I am delighted that it is going to be shown at Hever.”
The panel will be on display in the Queens’ Chamber at Hever Castle from March 22.