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Ceiling shield or boss from the Painted Chamber at the Palace of Westminster, wood
Museum number: M363
This is one of the few remnants of the celebrated medieval 'Painted Chamber' to survive. It was taken down in 1819 and acquired by Soane at that time. The Chamber itself was destroyed in the disastrous fire of 1834. Soane substantially remodelled parts of the old Palace of Westminster between 1824 and 1827. He created a Royal Gallery and ceremonial entrance at the southern end of the palace together with new library facilities for both Houses of Parliament and new law courts for the Chancery and King’s Bench (see also M101 Coat of Arms from Court of King’s Bench). This unique timber quatrefoil comes from the ceiling of the Painted Chamber, one of the most beautiful and important rooms of the medieval palace. It was originally the King’s State Bedchamber and was later used as one of the first meeting places for Parliament. This piece of the elaborate ceiling ornament probably dates from the 1260s and would originally have been painted.
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