Anne Boleyn Falcon Carving – What a find!

Posted By on November 8, 2021

Anne’s falcon badge in her copy of The Ecclesiaste

As you may have seen in the news, an Anne Boleyn artefact has come to light – a wooden carving of her falcon badge!

What’s amazing is that it was sold at auction in 2019 for £75 as simply an “antique carved wooden bird”, when it was actually a 16th century wooden carving of Anne Boleyn’s badge! It’s now worth £200,000!

It is thought that it may have adorned Anne Boleyn’s private royal apartments at Hampton Court Palace and somehow survived when Henry VIII ordered the removal of her badges and motifs.

It really is an amazing find and congratulations to Sandra Vasoli, James Peacock and Tracy Borman, and antiques dealer Paul Fitzsimmons, for their work on it. Paul is placing it on long-term loan to Hampton Court Palace, which is wonderful news.

Read more at https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/nov/07/wooden-bird-bought-for-75-revealed-to-be-anne-boleyns-and-is-now-worth-200000, where you can also see a photo of it.

Anne’s white falcon came from the heraldry of her paternal grandmother’s Butler family, the Earls of Ormonde, and in her badge, it lands on the stump of an oak tree from which red and white roses bloom. It symbolised Anne bringing life, i.e. children, to the barren Tudor stock.

In celebration of her coronation in 1533, poet and scholar Nicholas Udall wrote the following ballad:

This White Falcon,
Rare and geason,
This bird shineth so bright;
Of all that are,
No bird compare
May with this Falcon White.

The virtues all,
No man mortal,
Of this bird can write.
No man earthly
Enough truly
Can praise this Falcon White.

Who will express
Great gentleness
To be in any wight;
He will not miss,
But call him this
The gentle Falcon White.

This gentle bird
As white as curd
Shineth both day and night;
Nor far ne near
Is any peer
Unto this Falcon White,

Of body small.
Of power regal,
She is, and sharp of sight ;
Of courage hault
No manner fault
Is in this Falcon White,

In chastity,
Excelleth she,
Most like a virgin bright:
And worthy is
To live in bliss
Always this Falcon White.

But now to take
And use her make
Is time, as troth is plight;
That she may bring
Fruit according
For such a Falcon White.

And where by wrong,
She hath fleen long,
Uncertain where to light;
Herself repose
Upon the Rose,
Now may this Falcon White.

Whereon to rest,
And build her nest;
GOD grant her, most of might!
That England may
Rejoice alway
In this same Falcon White.

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