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Panel carved with a figure of a man sitting in the top of a tree: M.4-1953

Object information

Awaiting location update


Panel carved with a figure of a man sitting in the top of a tree


Maker: Unknown




Oak, carved and painted wood. Carved with a figure of a man sitting in the top of a tree, he grips a bough with his left hand, his right resting on the same branch, he is being spoken to by an angel in the right hand corner. Beside the trunk stands a young man, who holds in his left hand an axe, clasping a chopped off branch with his right. His right foot rests on a shortened branch, his left on the ground. At the base of the tree is an axe with a broken shaft and in the bottom left hand corner a small house. There is a lettered panel top and bottom and scrolls on the two sides: top panel, MAT(HU)SALE(H) BILD A/HVS; left and right scrolls, IVO BILD A HOV(SE) VORS(ELF) and BR(IN)G VI MIAS BOI SA??; and bottom panel, FATHER HOLD Y AX


History note: Bequeathed by an elderly King's Lynn lady to Fred Partridge (solicitor, died 1929). Given to W. Leake (Boynton House, Hunstanton, Norfolk) by the daughters of F. Partridge.

Legal notes

Given by Walter Leake

Measurements and weight

Height: 18 1/8 in
Width: 9 3/4 in

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1953) by Leake, Walter


16th century
Henry VII
Henry VIII
Circa 1500 - 1550

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Sculpture UK

Components of the work

Decoration composed of paint

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Carving : Oak panel, carved and painted

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: the lettering at the top seems to be spoken by the angel 'Methuselah build a house'

  • Location: Top of panel

Inscription present: right and left scrolls spoken by Methuselah to the boy (possibly his grandson Noah), seem to be 'I will build a house for us - Bring up my axe boy'

  • Location: Right and left scrolls

Inscription present: words spoken by the boy to his father, 'Father hold or behold the axe'

  • Location: Bottom of panel

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.4-1953
Primary reference Number: 30035
External ID: CAM_CCF_M_4_1953
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 28 January 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Panel carved with a figure of a man sitting in the top of a tree" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-05 22:27:33

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