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Science&TechnologyArcheologyCrowned falcon. Found a rare artifact of Anne Boleyn, beheaded by King...

Crowned falcon. Found a rare artifact of Anne Boleyn, beheaded by King Henry VIII

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Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny - Reporter at The European Times News

After the execution of Anne Boleyn, the king got rid of all her belongings, but this falcon miraculously survived almost in its original form.

The original 20 cm by 20.5 cm wooden falcon carving was identified as simply an “old bird figure” and sold at auction in 2019 for £ 75 ($ 102). But now it is recognized as the heraldic emblem of Anne Boleyn, the royal falcon of the 16th century, who probably adorned her apartments at Hampton Court Palace. But then the falcon was removed after King Henry VIII of England ordered his second wife to be executed and all reminders of her destroyed. The real cost of the figure is about 200,000 pounds (272 thousand dollars), according to The Guardian.

The figurine of a falcon carved from oak is so well preserved that it has original gilding and colors. Anne Boleyn was executed in 1536, just three years after she became the king’s wife. She was accused of adultery due to the fact that she could not give the king a male heir. But she gave birth to the future famous Queen of England – Elizabeth I.

The wooden falcon will be leased back to Hamton Court Castle by antiques dealer Paul Fitzsimmons, who discovered the old item at auction.

“Anne Boleyn is probably the most famous of the 6 wives of King Henry VIII, but there is probably the least evidence of her life left,” says historian Tracey Borman of the Historic Royal Palaces Foundation, which manages Hampton Court Palace.

Anne Boleyn was the second of six wives of England’s most famous king. This marriage caused England to break with the Catholic Church and gave rise to the English Reformation. Bormann believes that after Boleyn’s execution, this falcon was taken from the palace by one of her supporters. There are two more wooden falcons on the ceiling in the Great Hall of Hampton Court Palace, she said. They are not quite the same, but they are similar.

“The head of this falcon is decorated with a crown, and he also holds a scepter. But unlike examples from the Great Hall, this one wears an imperial crown. This suggests that Henry VIII had imperial ambitions, he wanted to reduce the authority of the Pope and become an emperor, and not just a king, “says Bormann.

Antique dealer Paul Fitzsimmons says he didn’t know it was Anne Boleyn’s emblem. But the connection with the royal family was noticeable, because the falcon was with a crown and a scepter.

The bird was blackened, possibly from soot, as it was probably hung over the fireplace. After cleaning, Fitzsimmons was surprised that the falcon was in almost the same condition as it had been hundreds of years ago.

“It’s such a rarity in Tudor art,” Fitzsimmons says.

“The woman, for whose sake the king changed religion in the country, was beheaded because of the accusation in connection with 5 men, which was most likely false. After that, Henry ordered to remove all evidence of Anna’s life from the palace, but some can still be found today, for example, this an ornate falcon, which is Anne’s heraldic emblem and once adorned Hampton Court Palace, ”says Bormann.

Photo: Guardian. Wooden falcon during restoration

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