Heads Will Roll

Commissioned by a member of the Gentlemen at Arms for his retirement to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year.

Her Majesty’s Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms provides a protection to The Queen at many ceremonial occasions. The Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms was instituted by King Henry VIII in 1509 and celebrated its 500th anniversary on 2009.

‘Heads will Roll’ comprises of two stylised ‘Gentlemen at Arms’ Helmets which act as drinking vessels. The cups stand on The Queen’s crown and Pole Axe heads which slot together at the rim to form one piece and represents the Corps long established relationship with the Royal family. The wooden head acts as the key holding the two cups together, one on top of the other. A portrait of the commissioner is carved in relief into its surface to become the head inside the helmets.

‘Heads Will Roll’ refers back to the Gentlemen at Arms less ceremonial and more active origins when they put their pole axe heads to use.  Today they must find their own wooden heads which roll around the dinner table at the end of an evening in order to place them back into their drinking cup helmets.

Materials: Silver, Lime wood

Photography: Matthew Booth