Monday, December 16, 2013

Catherine Howard - Version 1

The fifth wife of Henry VIII of England. Her ill-fated marriage to the king lasted less than two years before her husband had her arrested for adultery, which translated into treason under the law at the time. Barely out of her teens, the young queen had taken at least two lovers whom were arrested along with her. It is said that she watched them being executed in the courtyard from her window while imprisoned in the Tower of London. Her turn quickly followed, and she was beheaded by the axe on the morning of February 13, 1542.

Legend has it that on the night before her execution, Queen Catherine requested that the block be brought to her quarters and she practiced kneeling and placing her head on it so that she might go through her final ordeal as eloquently as was possible.


Queen Catherine is a reworked vinyl doll that stands approx 12" tall and totes her severed head in her right hand. She is dressed in a long gown of plush black velvet with gold and white braided trimmings and matching headdress. A beaded strand with a large pearl ornament and a metal cross hangs from her waist.

The neck stump and beneath the chin both reveal the crushed spinal column and the awkward cut of the axe blow. Blood and muscle tissue is visible from both wounds and the splatter-marks ride high on the back of the head in accordance to where the heavy axe struck. Her eyes are slightly clouded and framed with wide painted eyebrows.

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