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Set of Roundels. England, early 17th century
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Image No. 2006AM5486-01

Set of Roundels. The roundels are each painted with a figure dressed in the style of the early 17th century, surrounded by a verse inscription. There are 12 different characters: a richly dressed lady; a soldier, a divine, a man in a cloak; a lawyer, and courtier; a countryman; a merchant; a widow; a woman; a boy. Each surrounded by a band of guilloche ornament and a satirical verse delineating their character, written in three concentric circles. The roundels were possibly used at New Year parties for eating delicacies, using the reverse, plain side, after which the roundels were turned over to reveal their painted decoration. These verses were written by John Davies (1569-1626). Beech with painted decoration in white and gold on black. England, 1608-30.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London