NOTES ON THE ARTWORK
On 2 December 1679, Henry Summers (son of Henry Summers of Braintree, Essex) is bound as Gibbons’ fourth apprentice. At this time Gibbons’ is continuing his work at Windsor Castle, the largest royal project of the decade, producing carvings for the Kings’ Chapel from 1680 to 1682. In the chapel 28 round-headed niches sat behind the choir, each filled with flowers, fruit and ribbons, and above a pelican with her young. It was undoubtedly an extensive piece of work and one which drew great praise from John Evelyn and Celia Fiennes. It is unsurprising that Gibbons sought to swell his workshop with an additional apprentice at this time.
Further reading: David Esterly, ‘Grinling Gibbons and the Art of Carving’, V&A Publications, 1998, pgs 174-6.