From the Collection of Baptist minister, numismatist and assistant librarian in the British Museum Dr Andrew Gifford (1700-1784);
by whom presented to British Museum on 2 November 1758; from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in 1946
545 x 425 mm.
This would appear to be a good point to illustrate one of the eighteen 17th century wooden heads identified as Edward III, from the Tower Armoury. Two heads documented as Charles I and Charles II were from the workshop of Grinling Gibbons, the others were manufactured in the workshops of William Emmett, William Morgan, John Nost I, Thomas Quellin and Marmaduke Townson. A further head of William III by Nicholas Alcock was added to the group in 1702.
The head of Edward III: three paint finishes only. It seems not to have been sanded, showing a ground layer of lead white & chalk, followed by an original pale flesh finish of lead white tinted with vermilion. Repainting using red ochre for a darker pink was followed by its present orange-pink treatment.
These heads from ' the line of kings' sitting on horseback in full armour were William the Conqueror, Edward I, Edward III, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, Edward IV, Edward V, Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI and James I – twelve, in addition to Gibbons’ Charles I and II. This means that several heads other than those representing kings may have been produced, such as ‘John of Gaunt’ and possibly ‘Richard, Duke of York’