The Funeral Effigies of Westminster AbbeyISBN: 085115879X;
Book DescriptionThe funeral effigies housed in their own quarters in the Norman undercroft are one of the most remarkable yet little-known treasures of Westminster abbey. They derive from a time when an effigy of the dead monarch, statesman or national hero played an important part in funeral ritual, offering a visible likeness as a focus to the ceremonial of the funeral. Surprisingly moving when gathered together, this unexpected pantheon of celebrities includes remarkable medieval wood effigies and later wax figures in contemporary clothing. Among the unique and important group of portrait busts, the death mask of Edward III (1377) dates back to the beginnings of portraiture in medieval Europe; other fine examples include Henry VII, Charles II, Pitt,and Nelson. The collection is also remarkable for its rare historic costumes, including Charles II's Garter robes, Nelson's hat, extraordinary Georgian paste jewellery, rare early silks and shoes, and probably the oldest stuffed bird...
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