Henry VIII's writing desk

Henry VIII's writing desk was made in about 1525-6, it is a product of the royal workshops and is lavishly embellished with ornamental motifs introduced to Britain by continental artists. The gilded leather lining is painted with figures and profile heads that are close in style to contemporary portrait miniatures, while the figures of Mars in armour and Venus with cupid are taken from woodcuts by the German artist Hans Burgkmair (1473-1531), which were published in 1510. The desk also bears the coat of arms and personal badges of Henry VIII and his first queen Catherine of Aragon. Such images conveyed powerful messages of allegiance and were used extensively in the decorative schemes of Henry VIII's royal palaces. The Latin inscription on the inner lid reads 'God of Kingdoms great Protector of the authority of the Christian Church give to your servant Henry VIII King of England a great victory over his enemies'.

The exterior of the desk is covered with shagreen (possibly sharkskin) and fitted with metal-gilt angle-mounts, loop handles and ball feet, all added during the 18th century. The interior surfaces of the compartments are lined with red silk velvet, probably added during the 19th century. The writing surface and the large compartment have been relined very crudely with a crimson silk velvet, the appearance of which is considerably older than that of the red velvet.

ee also

*Bureau du Roi
*Resolute Desk


*cite book|author=Jackson, Anna (ed.)|title= V&A: A Hundred Highlights|publisher=V&A Publications|year=2001

External links

* cite web |publisher= Victoria and Albert Museum
url= http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/british_galls/video/writing_desk/index.html
title= A Royal Writing Desk
work=British Galleries
accessdate= 2008-08-06

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • List of desk forms and types — Any list of desk forms and types encountered in the modern office or home, and in antique stores, is incomplete and contradictory given the variations in the naming of desks, as a simple lookup in two or three of the reference books below will… …   Wikipedia

  • Portable desk — The portable desk has not one but many forms. In a sense, the portable desk is a long lost ancestor of the portable computer, and the modern laptop could be considered an atavistic grandchild of the 19th century Lap desk.Medieval and renaissance… …   Wikipedia

  • Resolute desk — The Resolute desk is a large nineteenth century partners desk that is frequently selected by U.S. presidents for use in the White House Oval Office. It was a present from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880 and was built from… …   Wikipedia

  • Victoria and Albert Museum — Coordinates: 51°29′48″N 0°10′19″W / 51.496667°N 0.171944°W / 51.496667; 0.171944 …   Wikipedia

  • Bureau du Roi — The Bureau du Roi ( King s desk ), known in France as the Secrétaire à cylindre de Louis XV ( Louis XV roll top secretary ), is the name given to the richly ornamented royal Cylinder desk whose construction was started under Louis XV and finished …   Wikipedia

  • The Howard 'Grace' Cup — This richly mounted Grace Cup would have been passed around the dinner table after prayers had been said. It is a survivor from the Tudor Court. The ivory bowl is said to have belonged to Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was murdered… …   Wikipedia

  • Europe, history of — Introduction       history of European peoples and cultures from prehistoric times to the present. Europe is a more ambiguous term than most geographic expressions. Its etymology is doubtful, as is the physical extent of the area it designates.… …   Universalium

  • performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical.       The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains …   Universalium

  • publishing, history of — Introduction       an account of the selection, preparation, and marketing of printed matter from its origins in ancient times to the present. The activity has grown from small beginnings into a vast and complex industry responsible for the… …   Universalium

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.