An Early 19thc Ecclesiastical Painted Pine Panel; Shenstone Parish Church, Staffordshire, c.1829

Origin: English
Period: Late Regency/William IV
Provenance: Shenstone Parish Church, Staffordshire, England
Date: c.1829
Height: 35”
Width: 21”

In entirely original condition, the unique church panel, beautifully hand sign-written on a plum painted background with gold leaf writing, originally from Shenstone Parish Church in Staffordshire which was sadly demolished in the mid-19th century, the panel re-discovered hidden in 1967 and documentation provided to its provenance, the whole surviving from the zeniths of Regency England.

The whole is in good un-meddled condition, with the signwriting being beautifully worn and with a super texture. There are patches of heavier wear as photographed and it has not been overpainted or badly restored. The panel has had a wood split to the centre sympathetically restored and the whole panel is strong and stable. The reverse shows a wonderful crazing.

The panel was found behind some wallpaper in a local cottage in the late 1960s - an event which was covered in the local newspaper at the time. The cut-out story and photograph showing the panel in its place of reveal remains with the piece now by way of provenance.

For some years, Shenstone old church tower has been designated a Grade 2 listed building, and in 2017 Historic England conducted a feasibility survey to produce a plan to renovate it. The old tower in Shenstone churchyard is all that remains of the former church that was demolished when the adjacent church of St John the Baptist was built to replace it in 1853. Whilst the tower has c13 origins and features, it replaced an earlier church known to have existed in 1129 and is reported to be built over Saxon Foundations: evidence of Saxon masonry was found during archaeological excavations carried out in 1970.

The panel reads:

The above gallery was built in the year 1829 by which means 80 additional sittings were obtained, and in consequence of a Grant from the Incorporated Society for promoting the enlargement of building, and repairs of Churches and Chapels, 70 of that number are hereby declared to be free and unappropriated forever.
James Hargreaves
Edward White            } Church Wardens
Samuel C. Adcock
Not only hugely decorative but is a historically important piece with a rock solid provenance and paper trail which also makes it a fascinating collectable to boot.