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Lot #193
Henry VIII

FIT FOR A KING: HENRY VIII orders new clothing in the third year of his reign

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FIT FOR A KING: HENRY VIII orders new clothing in the third year of his reign

King of England and Lord (later King) of Ireland (1491–1547) from 1509 until his death. The second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, Henry attained the status of legend among British monarchs, not only for his virtually untrammeled power (including the break with Rome that led to the formation of the Anglican Church), but for his six marriages. Ultimately unsuccessful in his wish for a male heir, he was instead succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth I, who would prove to be one of the most able and influential figures in the history of the monarchy. Scarce manuscript DS, in Old English, signed “Henry,” adding his cipher, one page on vellum, approximately 7.5 x 6 (trimmed from a larger sheet), June 28 [“the thyrd yere of our reign,” i.e., 1512]. A directive to “Our trusty and well-beloved Sir Andrew Wyndesor, Knight Keeper of Our Greate Wardrobe,” ordering him to deliver to Stephyn Jasper, “our Taillor ... the following towardes his apparaill,” including “four brode yards and an halfe of violet cloth ... for a gown” as well as “black woll,” “black velvet,” and “black damask for a Jaquit.” In April, just two months earlier, Henry declared war on France in a bloody conflict that continued until the Treaty of St. Germain-en-Laye brought hostilities to an end in August 1514. (One provision of the treaty was the payment to Henry of one million francs by Louis XII in return for Henry’s promise not to claim the French throne). Though Henry was still married to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, 1512 also saw the birth of Catherine Parr, who would grow up to become his sixth and final wife in 1543. In very good condition, with staining, toning and soiling all far from Henry’s signature, overall expected vellum wrinkling, and a single small hole to bottom margin (probably the remnant of a seal no longer present). The signature is extraordinarily bold and dark, and, given its age, the document is quite handsome for display. Auction LOA John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #333 - Ended May 14, 2008