In recent news we have learned of a huge find in the world of Tudor history. I found out last Wednesday, when news really began to spread, that an old Tudor artifact had come to light. This is very huge news for me because it is the Falcon Crest of Anne Boleyn! All of my regular readers will know how much I adore Anne, and she is my absolute favorite Queen of all time.
The crest is Anne’s official crest from when she became Queen of England. Her crest was a white falcon crowned, and holding a scepter on a tree stump, with red and white roses coming from the stump. It is a symbol of power and renewal, as the falcon was a powerful bird of prey (who could be trained and used for sport, hence falconry), and a stump with blooming flowers symbolized the renewal of a fruitful womb! In this emblem Anne was promising Henry the heir he so desperately wanted, and a time of great renewal and bounty.
These falcon symbols were all over the palaces of Tudor England, but like everything of Anne Boleyn they were attempted to be wiped out by Henry when she was executed. Just like the H and A intertwined in Hampton Court Palace, we can see the Falcons (similar to the one found) on the ceiling (only a few left at Hampton Court Palace). There has been much speculation as to whether this particular falcon could have been owned directly by Anne herself!
Some of the historians working on the restoration noted that the gilt still extant on the piece and the coating of beeswax remains on it would point to it possibly having been in the Queen’s own chambers! How incredibly exciting for Tudor history nerds like me. I am thrilled that we are still finding things connected to Anne. It does not happen often, and it is treasure hunt, but I believe there is more out there that Henry did not succeed in eliminating. I fully believe some of Anne’s supporters would have tried to save things for Elizabeth, and that others when they realized her innocence would have protected what they found from Henry’s eyes.
Now that we have her badge found, and lovingly restored after two years of researching into proving it is a true remanent of Anne, I am waiting for someone to find an original Holbein portrait of Anne tucked into a basement or attic, hidden through the ages and waiting to be rediscovered! That is my dream discovery, a contemporary portrait of Anne (and Holbein would be best as he was most accurate).
I hope you have enjoyed my post, and my nerding out over Anne Boleyn. Let me know your thoughts on this incredible discovery in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is the falcon badge that was found! I found the image on https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/wooden-falcon-once-sold-for-101-was-anne-boleyns-180979033/.