Much of this has been added to at quite recent date, but enough of the original work remains to show its typically French character. There is the same kind of frieze as at Rouen, but here broken up by half-balusters, which are also used to cover the muntins of the upper tier of panels, in the same way as in the St. Vincent work. The ornament, of circular cartouches, carved with heads and devices, is quite in the French manner with two rows of the English vertically-moulded linenfold panels below. There are various dates carved on the original panels, which suggest that the work extended over a period of more than twenty years. The same system of dating has been adopted with the modern additions. Fig. 276 is of the same general style and of about the same date. The variations in the moulding of the three tiers of panels should be noted as an interesting detail. We have seen the same device adopted in the screen, Fig. 260. Above and below, the finish is the spear-head, but the central panels are carved in close representation of the folds of linen. Between the foliated panels are half-balusters, of semi-octagonal section, scribed at the bottom over the top chamfer of the cross-rail, the upper row of muntins being set back from the rail for that purpose. The ornament of the upper panels is more delicate than in the Fulford wains-cotting, suggestive more of the work of Eastern Sussex than of Devonshire. There is little doubt that the panelling from Great Fulford is in its original county, if it was not actually made for the house it is in at present. So much fine woodwork was looted from churches shortly after 1650, however, that it is unwise to be positive on such points.
Fig. 285. The Study Panelling From Holywells, Ipswich. - (Ex Tankard Inn). - 8 ft. 11 ins. high. Mid-sixteenth century. - J. Dupuis Col bold, Esq.
Fig. 286. Detail Of The Study Panelling, Fig. 285.
Fig. 287. Detail Of The Panelling, Fig. 285.
The panelling from Waltham, in Essex, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Figs. 277 to 281, may be cited as the pure Italian expression of the Renaissance, almost without influence from either France or the Low Countries. Here the new manner, introduced directly from Italy by Torrigiano in 1509-17, is rendered with great fidelity, but with sufficient of the former Gothic influence remaining, - as in the four upper panels in Fig. 277, and in the first, third and fourth of the same tier in Fig. 278 - to establish the fact that some, if not all, of this woodwork is of English make. Numbering the panels from left to right, and from top to bottom, we have from 1 to 12 in Fig. 277, and from 13 to 27 in Fig. 278. Nos. 10, 11 and 12 are shown in larger detail in Fig. 279. A close study of the panels in Figs. 275 and 276 will show the great differences in the inspiration of these, compared with this "Waltham panelling. With work as far removed in origin as Sussex or Devonshire on the one hand, and a place which is, at the present day, almost a suburb of London, we would expect to find such marked variation. Of the panels, as numbered above for easy reference, 1, 2, 3, 4, 13, 15 and 16 are Italian with strong English influence, whereas 8, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 26 and 27 are purely Italian without a trace of French inspiration. That the Italian workmen, brought to this country either by Torrigiano directly, or who followed in his train, may have been responsible for the designing, if not much of the actual work of these panels, is probable, but the design of the door, Fig. 281, is English beyond question.
Of the origin of this elaborate wainscotting, nothing is known with recorded certainty. That the panels were, originally, in Waltham Abbey, is unquestionable. They were removed from J. Dupuis Cobbold, Esq a house in the town, to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1889, but it is known that they were taken from the. Abbey buildings, when they were demolished in 1760. It is noted that they were purchased by the town at this date, and fitted up in the house from which they were finally taken, when the Museum authorities acquired them. How they came into Waltham Abbey is not so certain. It has been suggested that Robert Fuller, the last abbot, had them made for his lodgings. Fuller was a wealthy prelate, Abbot of Waltham and Prior of St. Bartholomew, Smithfield, and his apartments would, undoubtedly, have been sumptuously furnished, but there are evidences, in the panels themselves, which suggest a later date than 1526. In the large detail, Fig. 279, we have the Beaufort portcullis, the Tudor rose, and the chevron between three mullets (or spur rowels) of Blackett.1 In the panel of the lower tier in Fig. 278 is the pomegranate of Aragon, repeated twice, and alternating with the Tudor rose. This heraldry would have been utterly false if the panellings had been made for Robert Fuller. The Abbey fell into the clutches of Henry VIII at the Dissolution, and its first purchaser (at a bargain price, we may be sure, as the monastic possessions were disposed of by Henry for any sum they would realise at a forced sale) may have been the Blackett whose arms appear. The royal cognisances were, possibly, the expression of the family's gratitude for a good bargain driven with the royal vendor.
Fig. 288. Detail Of The Panelling, Fig. 285.
Fig. 289. Oak Panelling And Door In The Study At Holywells. - Door panels 11 1/2 ins. by 7 1/2 ins. sight. Overdoor 3 ft. 4 ins. by 1 ft. 9 1/2 ins. Mid-sixteenth century.
Fig. 290. Mantel In The Study, Holywells, Ipswich. - 9 ft. 6 1/2 ins. wide over column bases; 8 ft. 11 ins. wide over pilasters; 8 ft. 1 1/4 ins. sight-size of panel; - 2 ft. 6 1/2 ins. height of pilasters; columns 2 ft. 10 ins. to mantelshelf. - Mid-sixteenth century. - J. Dupuis Cobbold, Esq.
Fig. 291. Oak Panelling In The Study At Holywells, Ipswich. - Lower panels 24 3/4 ins. by Si ins. Upper panels 18 1/2 ins. by 9 1/2 ins. sight. - J. Dupuis Cobbold, Esq.
Fig. 293. Oak Panellings In The Vicars' Hall, Exeter. - Late sixteenth century.
Fig. 294. House In Market Street, Lavenham, Suffolk. - 10 ft. 3 ins. long by 12 ins. and 15 1/2 ins. high. - Late fifteenth century. Miss Priest Peck.
Fig. 295. Stoke-By-Nayland, Suffolk.
Fig. 296. Paycockes, Coggeshall, Essex. - Early sixteenth century (about 1500). - Initials T.P. carved on shield.
Noel Buxton, Esq.
1 The mullet has five straight points in English heraldry and six in French. It is the filial distinction of a third son. The estoile has six wavy points.