Not long ago, I acquired at auction a Richard Courtenay figure of the Archbishop of Sens, a French clergyman wounded and captured at the Battle of Poitiers (1356). Courtenay nearly portrayed this personality in his designated position4,toppling forward wounded, mace in hand ,which as John Cammidge notes in his book “ The Black Prince: An Historical Pageant” was “in deference to the law that a churchman might spill no blood[and so therefore] carried a heavy mace where with to spill brains.”(See photo one)
A very dramatic figure indeed, dressed in a blue jupon adorned with a white cross four golden crosiers. It quickly found a place in a glass-enclosed cabinet reserved for special figures. However, the Archbishop did look rather lonely-a wounded warrior falling to the ground with no assailant to be seen. So I consulted Cam midge’s highly useful book and learned that the Archbishop of Sens was part of the battered band of 20 French knights who surrounded King Jean during the last stand at Poitiers. And it was the gallant English knight Thomas, Earl of Warwick, who in the words of Cammidge “ for all that his hands were “ sorely galled with sword and axe’, personally brought down and captured the Archbishop.”
That determined, I contacted my good friend Peter Greenhill, whose brilliantly crafted Courtenay-Greenhill figures (cat from the original Courtenay molds) enhance many collections of high quality model soldiers, and commissioned him to create a suitable model of Thomas Earl of Warwick.
In due course, I received a stunning rendering of the earl (see photo two)
in all of his heraldic splendour. He is shown in a rare position Z-12, battleaxe in hand, having just delivered a crushing blow to the unfortunate clergyman. Now the two figures stand together, a perfectly matched pair of medieval adversaries. In this case metaphors worked perfectly. (See photo Three)