Historic Henry VIII panel tops Bonhams' Oak Interior sale

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2016-02-26 10:20:49

A rare and important oak panel dating from the reign of Henry VIII has smashed its estimate at Bonhams.

The panel was the star lot of Bonhams' twice-annual Oak Interior sale in London, which realized a total of £1,010,025 with a sell through rate of 80% by value.

The carved oak panel is thought to depict an image of King John,surrounded by foliated scrolls and decoration, and was likely designed by Hans Holbein the Younger, the Swiss-German artist renowned as the most prominent portrait artist in Henry VIII's court.

Experts believe the panel originated from the London home of William Paulet, a civil servant who became Lord High Treasurer of England in 1548 and who previously served Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.

The historic panel is highly similar to examples in both the V&A Museum and the Museum of London, which seem to have formed a single design with Paulet's house.
Offered with an estimate of £20,000-£30,000, the panel eventually soared to a final price of £184,900.

"This was a remarkable piece of craftsmanship with links to some of the most momentous periods in English history," said David Houlston, Bonhams Senior Specialist in Oak Furniture. "I am not surprised it was in such high demand nor that it sold for such an impressive price."

Further notable lots included a Charles I oak folding table, circa 1630-40, which sold for £50,000; a rare Elizabeth I oak, walnut and marquetry inlaid tester bed, made in London circa 1585, which realized £40,000; and a James I oak and parquetry inlaid mural glass cabinet, circa 1610, which brought £25,000.

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