The Tudor Society
  • An update on the bench with links to Catherine of Aragon

    Thank you to John Roberts for this update - click here for John's original article.

    Tudor Society followers from four years ago may remember this historic bench and its many references to Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon.

    Many notable historians of ancient furniture, including Jonathan Foyle, have determined that the bench displays woodworked artistry from between the 16th-19th centuries, so the question now remains, why were talented craftsmen adding on to a work of art rather than creating one?

    The penny dropped early one morning this week with the theory that it's not the BENCH that is the main study here but the HEADBOARD!

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  • A bench belonging to Catherine of Aragon? – by John Roberts

    Discovering new artefacts from Henry VIII’s era, and so far away from England, sounds highly unlikely, but I am an ex-Brit living on the west coast of Canada, and I think I may have found the ‘holy grail’ of pre-Elizabethan furniture.

    I am a retiree, and in December 2016 I was looking for historical items for my daughter, Melanie, who had recently purchased a two-piece upright cupboard with 1703 among the carvings.

    My latest find, a highly ornate wood-panelled bench, or settle (we’ll settle on the bench word from now on!), was at a weekly auction in Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. It was described as 19th century, and I was the winning bidder at a hammer price of $725 Canadian (415 GBP).

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