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Feature

THE STAINED GLASS AT THE ELIZABETHAN HOUSE MUSEUM,
4 SOUTH QUAY, GREAT YARMOUTH

David King

The museum has a varied collection of mainly foreign glass from the Netherlands, Germany and France, mostly dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. A staircase window has an almost complete arrangement of roundels and other pieces with an early nineteenth century setting. Other glass is now in the kitchen and first-floor gallery. Graffiti on one window with the name J. Palmer and the date May 1814 suggest that some and probably all the original glass was installed at this time. The glass not on the staircase was moved from other windows after c. 1950 and then rearranged and added to in the early 1970s. The only glass from a known location comes from the monastery of Steinfeld in Germany. A few other fragments may be from the neighbouring monastery of Mariawald. Nearly all the complete panels are Dutch glass of seventeenth-century date. The article is based on long-term research for the CVMA Summary Catalogue for Norfolk. 

4 South Quay is one of several fine houses on the south quayside in Great Yarmouth. Now a museum, it is owned by the National Trust, but administered by the Norfolk Museums Service. The site, previously part of the Greyfriars precinct, is thought to have been acquired c. 1590, by Benjamin Cooper, a wealthy local merchant, who built the house c. 1596; in 1603 and 1610 he was licensed to extend its footprint. In 1809 it was bought by John Danby Palmer, who built the six-bay west façade and sold the house in 1841. The original house was only one bay deep, but in 1603–1610 it had been enlarged to the east, encompassing a courtyard. Palmer rebuilt the staircase of c. 1730, adding a large round-headed window at the top of the first flight.1

This staircase window is filled with a collection of late Netherlandish glass in a surround made by an unknown glazier in the early nineteenth century (Fig. 1). Some of the heraldic panels have changed positions since they were first installed in the window and the inscription now at the base of light b was previously in another window, but the window largely retains its original appearance.2 Other stained glass was previously noted by Woodforde c. 1930–c. 1950, some in the passage to the gallery mounted in a hinged screen and the rest in the Bachelor’s Room. This glass is now found set in two windows in the ground-floor kitchen and three in the first-floor gallery, the gallery windows having been rearranged in the 1970s. A few pieces of the original glass cannot now be accounted for, including the head of a female saint, Joachim with the Infant Mary and six blue bowls containing golden liquid.

The house was left by a Mrs Aldred to the National Trust in 1946, which took possession in 1950, when the glass was examined and a report written.3

Fig. 1. Staircase window. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

The more recent alterations and additions affecting the stained glass are documented in the records of G. King & Son, Norwich. In 1965 Dennis King offered two roundels4 with ships to the National Trust and in the following year the firm received a letter from the National Trust saying that they were prepared to install the ‘Flemish’ glass, but preferred the landing (gallery) windows to the kitchen. In 1967 an estimate was requested for fixing eight ‘Flemish’ panels in the landing windows.5 Two diagrams by R. D. V. Garrett of the National Trust dated 20 October 1971 appear to show the then existing arrangement of the glass in the landing windows and the proposed new version. The then existing glass is indicated by hatching or a rectangle or oval; in addition, there are eight numbers, some followed by ‘R’, which presumably refer to the eight ‘Flemish’ panels to be seen there now, which are in fact Dutch. This suggests that the arrangement existing at that time included the three fragment panels now in the top lights of the left-hand window (Fig. 2), plus three Dutch roundels in the same part of the second window (Fig. 3) and two in the third (Fig. 4). The eight numbered roundels may have been new acquisitions, including two from G. King & Son, but these cannot be distinguished. These roundels differ in character from the other glass, relating more to their relevance for a museum in a maritime port with close links with Holland. Two of the roundels are genre scenes, the rest depict ships. Following on from the drawing of the diagrams, on 2 November, 1971, G. King & Son were asked for an estimate for the work on the landing windows and on 24 July of the next year a bill was requested for the work done which ‘looks very well’.6

Fig. 2. Gallery, left-hand window. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 3. Gallery, second window. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 4. Gallery, third window. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Nearly all the glass, apart from the nineteenth-century setting of the staircase window by an unknown glazier, is from the Continent, and much is of a fragmentary nature, except for the roundels in the staircase window and the Dutch glass in the gallery. Several of the foreign fragments can be shown to be from the cloister glazing of the Premonstratensian Abbey of Steinfeld in the Eifel region of Germany.7 The iconographical program of the cloister windows included an extensive typological cycle. The glazing was designed to fill twenty-seven windows. The lower register of the main lights contained representations of donors or other people, as well as of events associated with the history of the abbey, and an extensive series of accompanying saints, often with smaller additional scenes from their lives. The main register above depicted scenes from the Infancy, Life, and Passion of Christ, preceded by the Fall of the Rebel Angels, and the Garden of Eden, concluding with the Last Judgment. In the heads of the main lights and in the tracery was a variety of figures, scenes, and texts relating to the scenes in the main cycle below. All twenty-seven windows were brought to England by Johann Christoph Hampp in 1802 and sold in Norwich and London. Some purchasers acquired extensive series of complete panels from the cloister, but it is clear that fragments of glass from there were also sold and bought by clients to be arranged in the kaleidoscopic patterns in windows in both churches and houses. These collections of bits and pieces were not itemised in the various sale catalogues published on the occasion of the auctions by Hampp and his partner Stevenson. However, thanks to detailed descriptions of the glass at Steinfeld made by the monks, even tiny fragments from there can be attributed to a particular window. Graffiti on the glass in the gallery with the date May 1814 and the name J. Palmer suggest strongly that John Danby Palmer was responsible for acquiring these fragments from the Hampp-Stevenson business and for its installation here at that time.

The glass is now in three locations in the museum: two windows in the kitchen on the ground floor, the staircase window, and three windows in the first-floor gallery.

The Kitchen Windows

Window 1 (on the left)

In the bottom row are four fragment panels, the outer pair hexagonal and the inner, circular. Iron stanchions obscure the centre of each panel.

1a (Fig. 5). In the centre is most of the figure of a male bearded saint blessing with his right hand and carrying an object in a bag, probably a book, in his left, and standing against a glory. This is probably German, late-fifteenth-century. Below is part of a spotted devil and the head of a whale with gaping mouth. The style of the latter piece suggests that it may be from Steinfeld, where a depiction of Jonah and the whale was to be seen in window XX from 1540–1542.8 The spotted devil may also be from there, from window XXVII, which had a panel depicting the realm of Lucifer with various kinds of devil. The style would fit the 1556/7 date of this window. There are lesser fragments of foliage and architecture completing the panel.

1b (Fig. 6). The spotted devil on the right may be from the same panel from window XXVII at Steinfeld, but most of the fragments are from window XIX there, dated 1540, which depicted St Denis standing holding his head, having been beheaded, this incident being depicted in the background, as seen in the piece to the left of the figure here. A few pieces of yellow ornament fill in the gaps.

1c (Fig. 7). This panel is made up of fragments of figures, their source and subject matter being unknown. The figures on the left and that top right appear to be by the same glass painter and two depict what may be the same child, being held in one piece on the shoulder by a lion. Of the other two figures, both angels, the larger could also be from the same source. They would appear to date to the second quarter of the sixteenth century, probably German.

1d (Fig. 8). Most of the fragments here are from a scene depicting the interior of a church with Christ on the cross seen against plain quarry glazing, from the early sixteenth century, German.

Fig. 5. Kitchen window 1, 1a. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 6. Kitchen window 1, 1b. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 7. Kitchen window 1, 1c. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 8. Kitchen window 1, 1d. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Window 2 (on the right) 

1a (Fig. 9). At the top is part of a figure of St Cornelius wearing the triple papal tiara. On his nimbus is in Roman script: ‘SANCTVS CORNELIVS PONTI(FEX)’. He was pope from 6 March 251 to 25 June 253 and died as a martyr, hence he is depicted here as a saint with a nimbus. This is part of another figure from Steinfeld, being from window XXIV in the cloister, dating from 1555. The figure originally held a horn and was accompanied by a kneeling figure of Johannes Indensis, pastor of Vritzdorf. The horn was Cornelius’ usual attribute and a panel from the neighbouring monastery of Mariawald dating from c. 1506, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, depicts him holding a hunting horn.9 Below him on the left is the head in profile of a young woman wearing an elaborate Renaissance headdress tied under the chin, dating from c. 1500c. 1520 and made by a Flemish artist. The use of the profile, the long, thin neck and the depiction of the upper row of teeth are reminiscent of some oval panels with profile heads of Worthies and Valiant Women now in King’s College Chapel and attributed to Arnold of Nijmegen and another glazier.10 The present head lacks the skill and precision of Arnold’s work (the application of yellow stain is clumsy), but some workshop influence may be present, either in Flanders, where he came from, or in Normandy, where he worked. Less can be said of the other fragments here, which include the head of a veiled woman, probably late-fifteenth-century German work, two long-eared grotesques from the next century and of doubtful origin, and some Renaissance ornament.

1b (Fig. 10). This panel is mostly taken up by parts of another scene from Steinfeld, depicting the Raising of Lazarus. The bald and bearded St Peter, wearing a ruby mantle and blue robe, kneels on the left reaching out to untie the bands which are round the wrists of Lazarus on the right, naked except for a shroud over his head and shoulders. St Peter’s lower jaw is pushed up against his nose to keep out the smell of decay. The panel is from window X of the cloister, dating from c. 1530, and attributed to Gerhard Remisch. The other fragments include the head of a crozier (possibly from Steinfeld) and a quarry-glazed window, both of the sixteenth century.

1c (Fig. 11). Further Steinfeld glass is seen in this panel, depicting the Apostles John and Peter running to Christ’s tomb on Easter Sunday. The younger St John looks back at the older St Peter to see if he is keeping up with him. In the background is a winding path, hills and trees. The glass is from window XX of 1540–1542, The top half of the St Peter figure is an early painted replacement made when the glass was still at Steinfeld, or was about to be replaced after one of the several occasions when it had to be removed for safe-keeping during troubled times. Round the edge are some additional fragments of figures including at the top part of a winged and nimbed lion – the Evangelist emblem of St Mark; a piece with two putti reading an open book held by one of them, and below a pair of facing winged putto heads; part of a startled female with bare arms and leg and a female head facing to sinister with the left hand pointing at the head, both pieces perhaps from a Last Judgement; all are from the sixteenth century.  

1d (Fig. 12). The central item here is an intriguing fragment with a finely-dressed couple, perhaps lovers, the man holding a fruit and turning to look at the woman, whose gaze is demurely downwards. They stand in a doorway, and behind them are two other people. This is probably French glass of the late fifteenth century, perhaps from a domestic context. On each side is a sculptured figure, a pale green caryatid on the left (with a second ghostly such figure behind) and a blue atlas on the right, both from the sixteenth century. Below on the right is part of a striking figure of a bearded man facing and pointing to the right, with the end of what must be a scroll hanging over his arm. This is possibly part of a prophet holding a text from his prophecy and is probably late-fifteenth-century French work. Bottom centre is part of a very worn figure of a saint and on the left a large purse edged with bells.

Fig. 9. Kitchen window 2, 1a. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 10. Kitchen window 2, 1b. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 11. Kitchen window 2. 1c. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 12. Kitchen window 2, 1d. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

The Staircase Window 

This is a complete contrast, being a designed composite window consisting of eight oval roundels and a larger rectangular panel, with Renaissance fragments and a background of nineteenth-century patterned quarries and a foliage border of the same date (Fig. 1). A few changes have occurred since the glass was first installed, as stated above, but overall, this window is a good example of its kind, in which foreign and local ancient glass is set in nineteenth-century surrounds. These were common in East Anglia, but are now seen in only a few places, as the fashion in the last century was to remove the nineteenth-century surround and set the old panels on clear glass. Other houses in Norfolk have such arrangements in staircase windows. Those at Ketteringham Hall and Rainthorpe Hall in Tasburgh are in private houses not open to the public.11

Fig. 13. Staircase window 1b, bottom, inscription. Photo: David King, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

The round-headed window is divided into nine rectangular compartments by iron ferramenta, plus a further four curved panels in the semi-circular head. Below this the central compartment has at the base the inscription moved here at the last restoration (Fig.13). In a Renaissance cartouche the inscription consists of two lines of Roman script: ‘Werner Schenk Doctor Churfurstlicher | Colnisscher Raet An(n)o d(omi)ni 1579’. A book published in Frankfurt am Main in 1724 has a reference to ‘von wegen der Stadt Collen Werner Schenk’, in connection with a visitation of Cologne in 1587.12 Above this is an oval heraldic roundel painted in trace line, yellow stain and pale-blue enamel (Fig. 14). The shield of arms bears party per fess in base argent a mount azure in chief a field of the second a lion rampant or langued gules.13 The helm argent and or is closed and faces to dexter. The crest is a demi-lion rampant or on a wreath azure and or, and the mantling is azure and or. The glass is Netherlandish and from the seventeenth century; the arms are unidentified. 

Above this is another oval heraldic roundel of similar date and origin, but of a very different kind (Fig. 15). In the centre stands an angel dressed in yellow and pale blue. With the right hand it points upward and holds a scroll bearing ‘AMICA UNIO’. The right hand supports an oval shield placed on the ground and set in a Renaissance cartouche with an unidentified coat of arms of argent three hearts in fess gules enflamed and all bound by a ribbon or.14 The motto means perhaps ‘I join together as a friend’, possibly referring to the angel (here seen as female) and the conjoined hearts on the shield. 

Fig. 14. Staircase window 1b, top, heraldic roundel. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 15. Staircase window 2b, heraldic roundel. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 16. Staircase window, 3b, St George and the Dragon. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

The central panel at the top is the most interesting but puzzling in this window (Fig. 16). It is a larger rectangular piece, depicting St George and the Dragon. The nimbed saint stands in a mixture of plate and mail armour wearing a helm with open visor and also a green skirt with a delicate pattern of foliage rinceaux. With his lance he transfixes the dragon lying on its back between his legs. There is a much-patched blue background which is not original and the dragon is mostly restored, the only original pieces being the legs and part of the wing on the left. The other parts are replacements, but made at three different times or by three different painters. Between his legs on part of the original white background with fictive quarries is painted a rose-en-soleil, the Yorkist badge used by Edward IV and Richard III. Woodforde thought the panel was Flemish, but the badge suggests otherwise. One admittedly remote possibility is that the panel was painted in Flanders during Edward IV’s exile there in 1470. St George as the patron saint of England would have alluded to the royal guest, the connection being strengthened by the presence of his badge. The style is unusual and there is little extant glass of this date made in Flanders. Another more probable explanation is that the glass dates from the end of the century and was painted by one of the Flemish glass painters who moved to England around that time, or by an English painter under their influence. 

The glass just described in the centre compartment is flanked on each side by three oval Netherlandish roundels. The bottom left one is an heraldic panel dated 1679 (Fig. 17). Again, an angel stands supporting the shield of arms, here hanging from a ribbon held by the angel in one hand, the other resting on the shield. The angel is dressed in a brown robe and blue mantle and there are green trees in the background. The shield bears gules three mullets or and a scroll at the base bears the date and the motto ‘SOLA MISERIA CARET INVIDIA’ (misery alone lacks envy).15 An earlier panel in 1c, on the bottom right of the window, is dated 1661. It is from the same design and workshop and mentions a family known in Flanders.

Above this is a very faded oval roundel painted with enamels, sanguine and yellow stain, with a coat of arms on a lozenge, usually for a woman, set in a Renaissance cartouche (Fig. 18). The unidentified shield bears or a tower gules surmounted by a serpent involved vert tongued of the second thereon a bird sable impaling argent a lion rampant sable langued gules. Both the glass paint and the enamels have faded or peeled off to an extent, but the heraldry is still legible, except for the species of the bird.

The next oval roundel in 3a is one of a pair with that in 3c, both depicting two soldiers (Fig. 19). Here, one stands and the other sits with his back to the viewer. In the present panel, the standing soldier faces to sinister, leaning on a pole with a white flag. He wears an open visor and has a sword at his belt. It is not possible to say what these roundels are intended to convey and they are painted in an unusual style. 

Fig. 17. Staircase window, 1a, heraldic roundel. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 18. Staircase window, 2a, heraldic roundel. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 19. Staircase window, 3a, roundel with soldiers. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

On the right of the central compartment the lowest oval roundel in 1c is the companion to that in 1a (Fig. 20). The angel supporting the shield is from the same design. The shield bears azure between two tilting lances chevronwise three unknown charges16 at the dexter chief point a mullet or. On a scroll below the shield is the motto ‘Cor ne lisrodat’ and at the base on a white area is an inscription: ‘R D Cornelius de Kersma | ker Can Reg in Corssen | 1661’.  The motto should read ‘Cor ne lis rodat’ (Let strife not gnaw at the heart), the first three words making up the name of the armiger. Rietstap gives three blazons for this family, but none are remotely like this one.17 The three versions are for families in Louvain, Flanders and Ghent. 

The panel above in 2c is an oval roundel with an unidentified Netherlandish shield of arms from the seventeenth century bearing party per fess in base argent two swords in saltire azure hilted or piercing a heart gules in chief or a fess counter-embattled of the third (Fig. 21). The closed helm facing to dexter is or and argent, the crest on wreath or and gules is a pale counter-embattled gules and the mantling, or and gules. 

The top oval roundel on the right is the companion to that in 3a (Fig. 22). It again depicts two soldiers. One stands in the centre facing to dexter, wearing a red-brown hat with white fur brim and tassel, black and white loin cloth, some red-brown strapping supporting a quiver on his back, a sword at his right hip, and red-brown boots and thigh strapping. His right hand holds a bow behind his back and his left rests on a rock on the right. The second soldier sits with his back to the viewer on the left, dressed in white with brown strapping and hat. In addition to the grey paint and yellow-stain used on 3a, some blue enamel is also used here. The roundel has several cracks from an impact. 

Fig. 20. Staircase window, 1c, heraldic roundel. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 21. Staircase window, 2c, heraldic roundel. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 22. Staircase window, 3c, roundel with soldiers. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

As opposed to the complete roundels used in the three main compartments of the window, the semi-circular top is composed of a symmetrical arrangement of fragments, set against the same patterned quarries as seen below (Fig. 23). It is very difficult to date this glass, as it appears that copies of some of the older fragments have been made to allow symmetry to be maintained. For example, the pieces of Renaissance ornament including grotesque monsters set in the left compartment are probably nineteenth-century versions of those on the right. The top section includes a splendid lion perched on an architectural scroll termination; this is almost certainly beautifully painted sixteenth- or seventeenth-century glass from Flanders. Beside it are two heads of angels which are also original glass from the same century.

Fig. 23. Staircase window, semi-circular top, fragments. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

The Gallery Windows

Window 1 

The first window on entering the gallery is of three lights with a transom. The openings above the transom each have an arrangement of fragments symmetrically placed where possible. In the centre light below is a Dutch genre roundel.

2a (Fig. 24). In the centre of the first fragment panel is a yellow-stain rectangle painted on blue glass, blank except for the graffito ‘May 1814’, as mentioned above (Fig. 25). Above is a large piece with a trefoil foliage motif, almost certainly of local origin and of mid-fifteenth-century date. On the left is a censer, very probably from a depiction of a censing angel. The painting style is not recognisably East Anglian, and it may be a modern copy. On the right is a fragment showing the nimbed head and neck of an eagle, the emblem of St John the Evangelist, against Renaissance micro-architecture. This is from the Steinfeld cloister glazing, window XXII, 2b, 1555. By the censer is a fragment probably of a roundel with parts of two young men, difficult to date, but probably sixteenth-century, and opposite is the head of a putto of similar date. The dragon and devil below may come from window XXVII of 1556/7 at Steinfeld, as was the case in panels 2a of window 1 in the kitchen. The fragment of Renaissance ornament with a figure on the right could be from an earlier window at Steinfeld; on the left is a seventeenth-century angel.

2b. The second fragment panel has as its main feature two matching halves of a frieze with a reversed design, each half having a naked old man with arms placed through holes in the masonry and a demi-figure of a naked young woman (Fig. 26). The use of sanguine on the lips and fruit places it well into the sixteenth century, probably the second half, but the provenance, although continental, is uncertain. Above to right and left are two capitals and parts of a frieze. Probably that on the left is a nineteenth-century copy of the other, which is very similar to details seen on the many panels from Mariawald which were imported at the same time as the Steinfeld glass. The capitals on the panels with standing saints from Mariawald vary in design, but the saints almost always stand in front of hangings topped by a frieze decorated with alternating ovals or circles or a pair of smaller circles. The right-hand piece, moreover, bears a graffito reading ‘J Palmer’, as discussed above (Fig. 27). The pot-like feature between them is also nineteenth-century. The charming fragment bottom centre of a putto clasping a vase is from the framing cartouche of a larger panel and is Flemish work of the seventeenth century. It is flanked by two almost matching fragments of ornament not painted by the same hand. Again, the less-accomplished right-hand piece may be nineteenth-century, or possibly by an earlier restorer.

2c. The third fragment panel has as a central feature the head of a woman wearing a coif and a ruby robe with yellow billet collar, possibly nimbed, and facing to dexter (Fig. 28). The style suggests a possible provenance from the Steinfeld cloister glazing of c. 1550. Above is a triangular piece of white glass covered in yellow-stain and painted with part of a building including a scalloped niche, also possibly from the Steinfeld cloister glazing, where such niches are frequently to be seen. The right-hand border is made up of some intriguing sixteenth-century fragments, including a clown-like head and the lower half of a figure with bare belly who appears to be dancing. On the left are some fragments of figures including an angel, a putto and a female head, all of varying dates in the sixteenth and seventeenth century and, like the clown and dancer, continental. Top left is part of a fine green lion’s head in Renaissance ornament and near the dancer a small piece with yellow fleurs-de-lis on blue drapery, probably part of a figure of St Louis IX France, who bore the French arms on his garment.

1b. In the centre of the lower part of the window is a single seventeenth-century Dutch oval roundel with a genre scene and inscription with a decidedly double-entendre (Fig. 29). Many continental roundels are now to be seen in churches in England, but this one and another in the second gallery window would have not been suitable for a sacred setting. The roundel depicts a scene in a humble courtyard in front of an arch. On the right an old bearded man wearing a red-brown fur hat, brown coat with red-brown belt and green trousers bends forward, leaning on a walking stick in his left hand and pointing with his right while talking to his wife, who stands to the left of him with hands joined in supplication, wearing a white hat and white, blue, yellow and red-brown dress. In the arch is a basket full of logs (?) and fruit, and two barrels, in front of which is a cat sitting on a folded object with head down. The scene has plain yellow border. Below is an inscription in Dutch: ‘ons dochter heeft het slecht gemaecht | de kat die is aen’t speek geraekt’, which means ‘Our daughter has been misbehaving. The cat has got the bacon’.

Fig. 24. Gallery window 1, 2a, fragments. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 25. Gallery window 1, 2a, detail with grafitto. Photo: David King, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 26. Gallery window 1, 2b, fragments. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 27. Gallery window 1, 2b, detail with grafitto. Photo: David King, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 28. Gallery window 1, 2c, fragments. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 29. Gallery window 1, 1b, roundel with genre scene. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Window 2 

This window has the same format as window I, but the glass is very different, consisting of six seventeenth-century Dutch roundels, three of which are rectangular. Five of them depict ships, but the other, in 2b, is another genre subject. 

1a (Fig. 30). Here is a small vessel with a single main mast flying the Dutch flag, possibly a galjoot, a Dutch merchant vessel, here with leeboards. Dutch, seventeenth-century. 

2a (Fig. 31). This roundel depicts a fishing boat called a buss flying the Dutch flag with two masts lowered, a small mast and sail at the prow and nets being hauled in on the port side by several fishermen. Below is an inscription in Dutch: ‘Och of haer de werlt also gewende | ende da[t] een iegel[ij]ck hem selven kende | en liet deen des andren gebreken staen | het sonde beter in de werlt gaen | Daminis Cornelissoon | St[e]erman 1612’ (‘Oh if the world would take this tack | and that every man would know himself | and each left the other’s alone | things would go better in the world | Daminis Cornelissoon | Ship’s mate 1612’).18

1b (Fig. 32). Here are depicted two ships. The main one is a three-masted fighting ship with two ranks of gun ports, flying five Dutch flags and sailing to the left. In the background on the left is another similar ship. Below is a Dutch inscription: ‘Dient u de wint na ubegeren | Siet wacker toe’t kan | haast verkeeren’ (‘If the wind serves as you desire | keep a sharp look out | things can quickly change’).

2b (Fig. 33). This is the second genre roundel, depicting a woman standing facing to dexter in profile wearing a white bonnet, a brown tunic with white collar and a purple skirt with a white apron. She points with her right hand behind her to a fireplace on the right with a burning and smoking fire in the grate. Below is a Dutch inscription: ‘schouvager gy Comt wel ter wegen | Comt vaegt myn schoorsteen | eens ter degen’, which means ‘Sweep, when you come this way again | Come give my chimney a good sweep | sometime’.

1c (Fig. 34). This roundel depicts a small fishing boat with a single square-rigged mast and sails fore and aft. A Dutch flag flies from the mast and a pennon from the stern. 

2c (Fig. 35). Here is seen a small single-masted sailing boat with two sails and leeboards. A sailor stands amidships brandishing a long object and a couple stand in the stern.

Fig. 30. Gallery window 2, 1a, roundel with ship. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 31. Gallery window 2, 2a, roundel with ship. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 32. Gallery window 2, 1b, roundel with ship. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 33. Gallery window 2, 2b, roundel with genre scene. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 34. Gallery window 2, 1c, roundel with ship. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 35. Gallery window 2, 2c, roundel with ship. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Window 3 

1a (Fig. 36).  This has a three-masted fighting ship with two ranks of gun ports flying five flags with argent a plain cross gules, perhaps indicating an English origin for the ship.

2a (Fig. 37). Here is a rectangular roundel depicting three ships. Two large ones are seen in the centre placed close together and it is difficult to distinguish the details. They are two (or three?) masted fighting ships with two rows of gun ports. That in front bears two flags with gules a triple-towered castle argent, perhaps for Gibraltar; other flags and pennants are also seen. A smaller, single-masted boat is seen on the right.

1b (Fig. 38). The roundel here depicts a three-masted fighting ship seen from the stern with gun ports, flying the Dutch flag and sailing to the left. Five sailing boats are seen on the horizon.

2b (Fig. 39). Here is seen a single-masted sailing ship with leeboards flying the Dutch flag and sailing to sinister. On the left in the background is a larger ship.

1c (Fig. 40). This has a small single-masted boat with a Dutch flag and pennant.

2c (Fig. 41). Here is a three-masted warship, also with the Dutch flags and pennant.

Fig. 36. Gallery window 3, 1a, roundel with ship. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 37. Gallery window 3, 2a, roundel with ship. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 38. Gallery window 3, 1b, roundel with ship. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 39. Gallery window 3, 2b, roundel with ship. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 40. Gallery window 3, 1c, roundel with ship. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

Fig. 41. Gallery window 3, 2c, roundel with ship. Photo: Mike Dixon, reproduced with permission of the National Trust.

All the roundels in the gallery windows are Dutch and seventeenth-century. Roundels were very popular both in the countries where they were made and later as exported items to England and the USA. In their original context they were parts of windows, placed in decorative settings which were often elaborate, but very few of the exported examples retain their setting, usually being set on clear glass, as here, which does not convey a true idea of their original appearance.

References

  1. N. Pevsner and B. Wilson, Norfolk 1: Norwich and North East, The Buildings of England, London, 1997 (2nd edn), p. 511.[]
  2. C. Woodforde, Ancient Glass in East Anglia, typescript notes, c.1930–1950, pp. 151–4.[]
  3. A letter sent to Dennis King in November 1955 (in the present writer’s possession) by Margaret Aldred, whose aunt left the house ‘to the nation’ in 1946, mentions this report and asks for information on the glass. The account of the glass in the Norfolk Record Office (NRO, ACC 2015/126) is not by King and covers only a few of the panels. This report was probably based on the notes written by Woodforde.[]
  4. The term ‘roundel’ can indicate a panel consisting of a single piece of painted glass of circular, oval or rectangular form.[]
  5. ‘Flemish’ is here in inverted commas as most of the foreign glass here is Dutch or German. Unfortunately, it is not clear which of the roundels now in the gallery windows this information refers to.[]
  6. NRO, KNG 2/2/5/163. When the glass now in the kitchen was installed is not known.[]
  7. D. King, ‘The Steinfeld Cloister Glazing’, Gesta, xxxvii/2, 1998, pp.201–210 itemizes with details on pp. 206–208 the Steinfeld glass known in 1998; D. King, ‘The Steinfeld Cloister Glazing’, Vidimus 35, December, 2009, has a list of further reading; R. Rosewell and D. King. ‘Recent Discoveries from Steinfeld Abbey’, Vidimus 35, December, 2009, discusses newly-discovered panels; the exhibition catalogue, D. Täube, Rheinische Glasmalerei: Meisterwerke der Renaissance, 2 vols., Cologne, 2007, deals extensively with the Steinfeld and Mariawald glass.[]
  8. The numbering used in this article for the Steinfeld Cloister windows is as shown on the plan in the Appendix to King, 1998 (as in note 7), p.206. The numbering begins at the west corner of the liturgical north side and continues in a clockwise direction. Windows I-VIII are on the north side, IX-XIV on the east, XV-XXII on the south, and XXIII-XXVII on the west.[]
  9. B. Wolff-Wintrich, ‘Stained Glass in the Former Cistercian Monastery of Mariawald, Eifel, Germany’, The Journal of Stained Glass, xxxii, 2008, pp. 10-48 (p. 27).[]
  10. H. Wayment, King’s College Chapel Cambridge: The Side-Chapel Glass, Cambridge, 1988, pp. 109–115.[]
  11. The Rainthorpe Hall glass is unpublished; for Ketteringham Hall, see D. King, ‘Carthusian Stained Glass in Norfolk’, in Vidimus 47, January 2011.[]
  12. Anon., Corpus Juris Cameralis, Frankfurt am Main, 1724, p. 488. The quotation means ‘concerning the city of Cologne Werner Schenk’.[]
  13. Because of the horizontal format, both of the lion’s rear legs are on the ground.[]
  14. T. De Renesse, Dictionnaire des Figures Héraldiques, vol. 3, Brussels, 1897, p. 373, gives argent three hearts enflamed gules, for Kuenen. J. B. Rietstap, Armorial général, précédé d’un Dictionnaire des termes du blason, 2nd ed, vol. 2, Gouda, 1887, p. 1269, has a completely different blazon. Kuenen is a name found in the Netherlands, from which this roundel probably comes.[]
  15. Rietstap 1887, p. 798, gives this coat for van Sompeecken of the region of Utrecht (pays d’Utrecht).[]
  16. Six small bezants placed in a circle with a seventh at the centre.[]
  17. J. B. Rietstap, Armorial général, précédé d’un Dictionnaire des termes du blason, 2nd ed, vol. 1, Gouda, 1884, p. 1082.[]
  18. Dutch translations are given in the museum.[]