According to the Armouries, the hammer was dated to roughly 1515, the same date as the Field of Cloth of Gold encounter between Henry VIII and Francis I. It is of gilt bronze, the two lions’ heads worked into the design alongside the French lilly. Owing to these design elements, I am inclined to agree that it was probably designed and made for use at this festival of arms. It is possible that there are also wardrobe account entries that might mention it, as well as early Tower inventories, but I have not yet seen them.
Working from photographs I brought back, Mr. Todd Anderson, of Los Angeles, CA, did the sculpting and original mold work. A truly remarkable project, especially when you consider that the shaft is largely hollow, an extremely difficult pour in steel or bronze.
The first batch we received were excellent; two in the aircraft stainless shown, and two in silicon bronze. I actually prefered the bronze version, but they were all subsequently stolen. This one came rough from the foundry, fresh from the investment cast. It took some seven hours of file work to clean the flashing, and then a couple of hours of polishing. Once it was mirror-bright, it was sent out for black oxide, so that it could then be polished and emphasize the rich depth Todd managed to achieve.
This is really one piece that must be seen to be appreciated. It is exceptionally heavy; testimony to Henry’s legendary strength. A new mold has been made from the sole surviving original, and it is once again available for purchase.