Early Tudor Interiors

  • History of Wall Panelling in Interior Design Periods


    Early Tudor Interiors c.1485-1558

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    That there were fine carved oak panelling chimney-pieces at this time is an undeniable fact in existence and probably there are others. Failing, however, to find any others that might have adorned the smaller home I have included the 'Holbein' chimney-piece now at Reigate Priory-perhaps the most spectacular example of domestic carving which was carried out during the first half of the sixteenth century in this country. The story which originally led me to its `discovery' was an entry in John Evelyn's Diary in 1655: `I went to Reigate to visit Mrs. Cary at Lady Peterborough's in an ancient monastery well in repair but the park much defaced; the house is nobly furnished in the traditional Tudor Interiors style. The chimney-piece in the great chamber, carved in wood, was of Henry VIII and was taken from a house of his in Bletchingly.' This would probably refer to Anne of Cleves' home in Bletchingly, but the whole thing is so gigantic in scale and so exquisitely carried out in every detail that Nonsuch Palace with its wonderful collection of works of art would undoubtedly have been a more suitable background for such a masterpiece. In this magnificent example of early Tudor carved Oak Panelling we can see to its full extent the Italian Renaissance `adapted' for domestic use in Tudor interior style. All the ideas which were singly and together to become so fashionable in the next 100 years appear to be incorporated in this one example. The `scrolled' design reminiscent of cut leather with edges rolled, which appears at the back of the seats and directly behind the shield was to become during the following century the main background for design.

     

     

    Tudor carved Oak Panelling

    REIGATE PRIORY c.1540
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