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John Evelyn (1620-1706)


Object connections:

Collection Sculpture
User collections Deptford Research Project by henrytp
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: Evelyn, John

Object details:

Object ID SCU0017
Description Relief carving on oak panel depicting the diarist John Evelyn (1620-1706). This is an unusual image of Evelyn, and one that has been both discussed and exhibited at NMM and elsewhere since it came to light in 1936, with an attribution to Gibbons. This may have been been prompted by the fact that in 1671, after Gibbons moved to Deptford from York, Evelyn discovered him by chance there working in ‘a poore solitary thatched house in a field’ and set him on his rise to fame. However, there is no solid evidence it is by him or, if not, who carved it, why and when. It came into the Museum in 1937 as part of Sir James Caird's purchase and donation of the Gabb collection, mainly of scientific instruments. Evelyn was a Commissioner of the Sick and Hurt Board in the 1660s, one of the founders of Chelsea Hospital and of Greenwich Hospital. Of the last, and when already 76, he took on the vital role of Treasurer from 1695 to 1703. Evelyn's house in Deptford (Sayes Court) was let to John Benbow when the latter was commissioner of the dockyard and also to Tsar Peter the Great when he came to study shipbuilding there, both in the 1690s.
Date made 17th century?

Artist/Maker Gibbons, Grinling
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Materials wood (oak)
Measurements Overall: 475 x 420 x 120 mm
  • John Evelyn (1620-1706) (SCU0017)
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