Saturday, September 10, 2011

Photo of the Week

roundtable detail - great hall (winchester)

This is a portrait of King Arthur on the very Round Table around which such knights as Lancelot and Galahad sat drinking coffee or mead or whatever they imbibed in those apocryphal times. This piece of legendary furniture is housed in the "Great Hall" of Winchester Castle in Hampshire, England.

I didn't make this up! Henry VIII did. The table is a hoax, painted at Henry's command for Holy Roman Emperor Charles V's 1522 state visit. The table itself is considerably older than that, according to dendrochronology -- but the wood it's made of does not date back to Arthur's time. Fake, fake, fake.

Still, it's a fascinating artifact, so I took this picture of it when we visited Winchester in July. You may want to climb down from your beanstalk and click on the pic for a close-up look at old Art, holding his sword Excaliber. And you can see the entire tabletop here.

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