Royal Armouries

William the Conqueror (reigned 1066 – 1087)

Images

colour photo of a carved wooden head of William I

Carved wooden head of William I. English, about 1688-90 (XVII.777)

  • colour photo of a carved wooden head of William I

    Carved wooden head of William I. English, about 1688-90 (XVII.777)

  • colour photo of a carved wooden head of Edward III

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

  • watercolour detail showing the figure of a king in armour on a horse

    Figure of William the Conqueror, detail from a watercolour of the Line of Kings. Early 19th century (I.69 )

Date: 1688 | Object number: XVII.777

Statistics

Object Provenance: English, about 1688-90
Object Number: XVII.777
Max. height: 20.5 cm (8.1 in)
Max. circumference: 52 cm (20.5 in)
Weight: 1.602 kg

William the Conqueror (reigned 1066 – 1087)

Description

Construction

Carved from a solid block with wedge set into the back of the head. Top of head removed.

Type of Wood

Oak

Appearance

Realistically painted, with brown eyes, ears outlined and no facial hair. Fleshy, rather rosebud mouth with pinked lips.

Paint Analysis:

Four paint finishes:
(i) The ground of lead white with red and yellow ochres was grey/buff, followed by an original pale buff flesh tone.
(ii) The head has not been sanded, showing an almost white re-paint.
(iii) Strong brown/pink treatment
(iv) Present pink scheme.

Wood Analysis

Rings too distorted by hammering to be useable.

References

Not illustrated in Borg.

Statistics

Object Provenance: English, about 1688-90
Object Number: XVII.777
Max. height: 20.5 cm (8.1 in)
Max. circumference: 52 cm (20.5 in)
Weight: 1.602 kg

Related Objects

William the Conqueror in the Line of Kings Click on the title link above to find out more.

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

Themes Menu

Line of Kings