Royal Armouries

Henry V (reigned 1413 – 1422)

Images

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 V

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

  • 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 VI

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

Object number: XVII.44

Statistics

Object Provenance: English, about 1688-91
Object Number: XVII.44
Max. height: 29 cm (11.4 in)
Max. circumference: 57 cm (22.4 in)
Weight: 1.905 kg (4 lb 3 oz)

Henry V (reigned 1413 – 1422)

Description

Construction

Originally carved from a single block, but the crown and upper part of the back of the head have been removed.

Type of Wood

Oak

Appearance

Now stripped and varnished. Carved ears: no facial hair detail.

Paint Analysis

Fragments of paint suggest at least two finishes before it was stripped:
(i) a grey ground of lead white and carbon black followed by flesh pink of lead white and red ochre.
(ii) later scheme using vermillion.

Wood Analysis

Rings on base scanned for a match.

References

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

Other Notes

Eighteenth century guidebooks mention two figures of Henry V on display at the Tower – one in the Small Armoury accompanied by his son Henry VI ‘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.44
Max. height: 29 cm (11.4 in)
Max. circumference: 57 cm (22.4 in)
Weight: 1.905 kg (4 lb 3 oz)

Related Objects

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

Henry VI (reigned 1422-1461) Click on the title link above to find out more.

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

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Line of Kings