Royal Armouries

Henry VI (reigned 1422-1461)

Images

colour photo of a carved wooden head of Henry VI

Carved wooden head of Henry VI. English, about 1688-91 (XVII.43)

  • colour photo of a carved wooden head of Henry VI

    Carved wooden head of Henry VI. English, about 1688-91 (XVII.43)

  • colour photo of a carved wooden head of Edward III

    Carved wooden head of Edward III. English, about 1688-90 (XVII.41)

  • colour photo of a carved wooden head of Henry V

    Carved wooden head of Henry V. English, about 1688-91 (XVII.44)

  • colour photo of a carved wooden head of Henry VII

    Carved wooden head of Henry VII. English, about 1689-91 (XVII.40)

Statistics

Object Provenance: English, about 1688-91
Object Number: XVII.43
Max. height: 23.5 cm (9.25 in)
Max. circumference: 45 cm (17.7 in)
Weight: 1.305 kg (2 lb 14 oz)

Henry VI (reigned 1422-1461)

Description

Construction

Two parts; back missing. Top of crown of the head has been cut off, but is now reattached.

Type of Wood

Oak

Appearance

Stripped and varnished. If there were ears, now missing as is that part of the head. Slight detail to eyebrows.

Paint Analysis

Fragmentary paint evidence suggests a red ochre primer followed by a greyish ground and then a dark pink tinted with vermillion and red ochre. This was followed by a buff coloured scheme

Wood Analysis

Rings on base scanned for a match.

References

ACN Borg Heads and Horses, 1976 p.326; plate LXXXIXa

Other Notes

This head has also been identified as possibly representing Henry VII. However in the current exhibition it is shown as Henry VI.

Eighteenth century guidebooks mention two figures of Henry VI on display at the Tower – one in the Small Armoury accompanied by his father Henry V ‘At the east or farther end, in the opposite corner, are two suits of armour, one made for Henry V the other for Henry VI over each of which is a semi circle of pistols’ ; the other in the Line of Kings displayed in the Horse Armoury in the New Armouries building. We have no further details about the Small Armoury figures.

Statistics

Object Provenance: English, about 1688-91
Object Number: XVII.43
Max. height: 23.5 cm (9.25 in)
Max. circumference: 45 cm (17.7 in)
Weight: 1.305 kg (2 lb 14 oz)

Related Objects

Henry VI in the Line of Kings Click on the title link above to find out more.

Henry VII (reigned 1485-1509) Click on the title link above to find out more.

Dates from 1688 | Object number: XVII.40

Henry V (reigned 1413 – 1422) Click on the title link above to find out more.

Object number: XVII.44

Wooden Heads: an Introduction Click on the title link above to find out more.

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Line of Kings