Thursday, January 13, 2011
Hampton Court Beestes, name cards
These were part of a job I did for a wonderful woman called Maria Jordan late last summer.
Maria, who works in the conservation departments of Hampton Court & Kensington Palaces, had seen my Oranges & Lemons print at the Pick Me Up exhibition at Somerset House in the Spring, and asked me to create an invite (and later the menu and these place cards) for her and her husband's joint 50th birthday celebration.
The meal was to be held at Hampton Court's marvellous (georgian?) Banqueting House, so we themed everything around the venue to some extent. For these place name cards we thought it would be nice to use the 8 heraldic 'Kynges Beestes' that Henry VIII had set up on either side of the Palace's main entrance.
The Beestes represent the heraldic motifs of his various ancestors and used, in part, to emphasise his family's somewhat dubious claim to the English throne.
the White Greyhound of Richmond,
Richard II's White Hart,
the Black Bull of Clarence,
the Silver Yale of Beaufort,
the Lion of England,
the Red Dragon of Wales,
the White Falcon of the Plantagenants
and the Panther, 'incensed' with flames issuing from his nose and ears.
A Yale, for those who don't know, is a mythological beast, with the body of an antelope, spotted, the tail of a lion, a goat's beard, a boar's tusks and horns that swivel in all directions to fend off attackers! Now you know.