• A gold signet ring once believed to have belonged to the Tudor-era Boleyn family has gone on display at Hampton Court Palace. The ring, was discovered in a field near Shurland Hall on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, the country home of one of Anne Boleyn’s cousins and a property she visited with King Henry VIII. It is engraved with with a bull’s head – which appears in the arms of the Boleyn family (a visual pun on the family name, which was often spelled as ‘Bullen’) – and arrayed with sunbeams and stars of white enamel as well as being decorated with icons of the Virgin and Child and St Catherine of Alexandria on its shoulders. Analysis concluded the ring was consistent with objects of the early Tudor era, leading historians to suggest that it may have belonged to either Thomas or George Boleyn – Anne Boleyn’s father and brother. The ring, which was purchased by Historic Royal Palaces with support from the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the Art Fund, the Meakins Family and John Harding, under the terms of the Treasure Act 1996, can be seen in the Great Hall. Included in general admission. For more, see www.hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace/.
• One of the UK’s most successful rock bands, Status Quo, are the subject of a new exhibition at the Barbican Music Library. Celebrating Seven Decades of Status Quo is the first ever public exhibition on the band and features never-before-seen material including the original handwritten lyrics to Caroline and Down Down as well as tour posters, photographs and more than 40 of the bands key albums. The display is a collaboration between Paul and Yvonne Harvey, who ran the band’s official fan club, ‘From The Makers Of…’ (FTMO), and Status Quo fan and collector Andy Campbell. Status Quo was formed in 1962 and has since had more than 60 chart hits as well as opening the LIVE AID concert in Wembley in July, 1985, and receiving a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music in 1991. Runs until 22nd May. Admission is free. For more, see www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/libraries/barbican-music-library.
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