Lot 205
  • 205

Cromwell, Oliver

3,000 - 5,000 GBP
4,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Cromwell, Oliver
  • Funeral escutcheon
  • pigment on cloth
Cromwell’s arms as Lord Protector impaled with the Bourchier family arms, surmounted by the royal crown, gilt and coloured paints on a banner formed from two stitched pieces of silk, one white and one dyed black (525 x 380 mm.), with a note on the bottom right corner in an eighteenth century hand (”Oliver Cromwell his Scutcheon that was taken from his Hearse 23 Nov[embe]r 1658”), framed and glazed with a provenance note on the reverse of the frame signed by Charles A. Prescott, left hand portion of the banner with significant heat damage, paint worn, some worm holes


Nevill family of Nevill Holt; Rev. Dawson Peake; acquired by Charles A. Prescott in 1884; thence by descent

Catalogue Note

A rare piece of Commonwealth ceremonial. Following Cromwell’s death on 3 September 1658 there was an official lying in state at Somerset House on the Strand that lasted until 23 November, when there was a ceremonial funeral procession to Westminster Abbey.  The ceremonial – in which the traditional wooden effigy bore orb, sceptre and crown – was based on the funeral of James I, and demonstrated the Commonwealth’s inability to instil Republicanism into the British body politic as much as it did Cromwell’s personal power.  Both the lying in state and the progress took place without the presence of Cromwell’s body, which was badly embalmed and rapidly began to decompose. Large numbers of escutcheons such as this example will have been produced, both to hang in Somerset House and for the funeral procession. At least one similar escutcheon is known to survive and is found in the Museum of London.