Experts baffled over stained glass

Intricate stained glass panels depicting the great and the good of the Tudor reign have sparked a history mystery for a firm of Black Country auctioneers.

Fieldings Auctioneers have been given four painted glass panels of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and the Dukes of Northumberland and Buckingham which date back to the 1870s.

Now the question on the lips of experts at the Stourbridge-based firm is: Where did the four regal panels originally come from?

William Farmer, auctioneer at the Market Street firm, said the stained panels had been bought by a Stourbridge man at a sale in 1937, along with a staircase and flagstones.
He then incorporated the panels into doors in his home, but when he sold the house to another resident around 20 years ago, she took them out and packed them away.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, took the panels into Fieldings last week, saying they should go to a good home.

Mr Farmer said the mystery was where the panels had come from in the first place and he was hoping residents might recognise them and contact the auctioneers.

He said it had been suggested they had come from Witley Court in Stourport, former home to the Earls of Dudley.

But he believed the panels could have come from the 17th century Wollaston Hall which is believed to have been dismantled and shipped to America in the mid-1920s.

"In the late Victorian period there was a fashion or trend for items going back to the Tudor period hence why this sort of design would have been popular," he said.

"The panels would have been a one-off commission and they would most likely have gone to a hall or even a stately manor."

Mr Farmer said Fieldings staff had been trying to trace the history of the panels and believed they had been made by designers Heaton, Butler and Bayne from the Covent Garden Glass Company, a well-recognised firm.

600450 Experts baffled over stained glass
Date: 22 May 2003

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