SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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Windsor Castle. Heraldic Embellishments painted on the Ceiling of King Henry VIIth Library, the Lobby and Queen Anne's Closet'...

The accommodation for books at Windsor Castle, having hit a crisis point, it was decided to have the rooms known as King Henry VII's Library and Queen Anne's Closet refitted. The rooms were gutted, and oak bookcases were installed that ran to the ceiling with a gallery running around each constructed by Pugin's builder George Myers with Anthony Salvin as an overall architect in charge. Thomas Willement (1786-1871), an important writer on heraldry and stained-glass artist, was commissioned to complete the decorative scheme with richly painted ceilings.

n. p. 1863
n. p. 1863

Folio [332 x 233mm.] 17 pen and ink and wash drawings (one double-page) 27 pen ink and watercolours (one double-page), one mounted photograph, one inset engraving of Willement's Arms, and three tipped-in letters from the Hon. W.F. Cowper, one mounted press-cutting from 'The Builder' March 5, 1864, titled 'New Works in Windsor Castle'; with several other leaves including a number with calligraphic text and four pages of indices. Original red morocco elaborately tooled in gilt the covers with a wide decorative border surrounding a central 'T.W.' monogram blocked in gilt the spine in six compartments with raised bands lettered in the second and third the others with repeat decoration in gilt turn-ins blue-glazed endpapers gilt edges; some scuffs and abrasions; the majority of leaves with a neat circular ink stamp of 'Worthing Public Library' and a few labels and bookplate. These schemes were first approved by Queen Victoria, and the volume also contains three letters from William F. Cowper, who has signed one of the illustrations as 'Approved… July 1863' authorising on the Queen's behalf for the work to proceed. A pencil note on the one of the endpapers notes that another copy of the illustrations, presumably one retained by the Queen, now resides at Windsor Castle library. The ceiling which the volume illustrates were divided into twenty-one compartments the centre compartment filled with the arms crown supporters and garter of King Henry VII the eight panels around it have respectively the badges of the hawthorn tree and crown the impaled red and white rose and crown the red rose the full title of the king the portcullis the fleur de Lys the motto and the red and white rose. The six panels to the left of these have been devoted to Queen Victoria with her arms crown and garter the initials V. E. and crown the im-paled red and white rose the rose thistle, and shamrock entwined with the crown and motto Quis separabit and the harp with the other six panels relating to the late Prince Consort having his arms crown and garter his crest and motto the red buffalo's head the escarbuncle and the initials A. P. surmounted by crowns. The whole of the panels are surrounded by ornamental borders of various designs in gold and colours, all on a very light ground. Below the panels is a very wide frieze, and this has been painted blue and decorated with white and red roses initials and white and gold ornaments. The ceiling of Queen Anne's Closet continued the decorative theme with the Queen's arms crown garter, and initials her badges of the impaled rose and thistle the harp the motto Semper eadem the single coats of England France Scotland and Ireland and the inscription 'In this closet H.M. Gracious Majesty Queen Anne first received intelligence of the victory of Blenheim August 13704;' and has ornamental panels the whole with coloured borders around them. The ceiling of the lobby adjoining has been enriched with the initials A. and V. tied with a cord and crowns and the border filled with the mottoes of the Queen and the Prince Consort and a running scroll ornament of white and red roses. The fireplace in the Library was also enriched by a design by Willement carving in stone of the royal arms and supporters from a design by Mr. Willement. The second section of the work illustrates Willement's replacement of the glass in the Waterloo Gallery with fifty single sheets of plate glass each embossed with the arms crowns mottoes initials and badges of the Queen and Prince Consort, the arms of St. George, and the Peninsular cross and the crowns initials and mottoes of the principal of the sovereigns connected with the battle of Waterloo France Austria Prince Regent Russia Prussia Holland Spain Portugal and Brunswick all within ornamental frameworks. Coloured plates in order: 1. Seal of Thomas Willement. [Coloured letters: Windsor Castle] 2. Coloured letters comprising the title page. 3. Plan of the library's ceilings, lobby, and Queen Anne's closet (double page). 4. Arms, Supporters &c of King Henry VII. 5. Titles of King Henry VII. 6. Motto of King Henry VII. 7. Badge of the King, the hawthorn bush. 8. Device of Elizabeth Queen of Henry VII. 9. Badge of France. 10. Badge of York and Lancaster. 11. Badge of Lancaster. 12. Badge of Beaufort. 13. Arms of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. 14. United devices of the Queen. 15. Badge of England. 16. Badge of Ireland. 17. Cypher of the Queen. 18. As above. 19. Arms &c of H.R.H. the Prince Consort. 20. Crest of the Prince Consort. 21. Badge of Cleve. 22. Crest of Cleve de la Marck. 23. Cypher of the Prince Consort. 24. As above. 25. Ornaments on the margin of the ceiling. [Sculptured panel over fireplace, library. Sepia photograph] 26. Decorations of the lobby (double page). [Coloured letters: Decorations of Queen Anne's Closet] 27. Arms of Queen Anne. 28. 'In this closet Her Gracious Majesty Queen Anne first received intelligence of the victory of Blenheim' (Inscription). 29. Side panels of ceiling. 30. Corner panels of ceiling. [Coloured letters: Embossed glass in Lanthorn lights of the Waterloo Gallery. 50 in all.] 31. One window with arms and an ornamental framework. [MS 'approved W. Cowper, July 1863']. 32. Scotland / England / Ireland. 33. H.M. Queen Victoria. 34. England / St. George / Peninsula Cross. 35. H.R.H. Prince Albert. 36. Ireland / Saxony / England. 37. The King of France. 38. The Emperor of Austria. 39. George, Prince Regent. 40. The Emperor of Russia. 41. The King of Prussia. 42. The King of the Netherlands. 43. The King of Spain. 44. England / Peninsula Cross / Scotland. 45. The King of Portugal. 46. The Duke of Brunswick.