A small selection of the commissioned Coats of Arms, Royal, Corporate and Family Crests carved and painted by Heraldic Sculptor Ian G Brennan;
This Website outlines the work of the Sculptor and Woodcarver to the British Royal Household
G Brennan; Sculptor to the Most Noble Order of the Garter and Most
Honourable Order of the Bath; has been a professional Artist,
Woodcarver and Sculptor using a wide variety of different materials,
including wood, marble resin, sterling silver and bronze for over
Sculptor Ian G Brennan has been commissioned to create a wide variety
of unique sculptures including many carved and painted Coat of Arms
and Crests for Family and Corporate Clients, the Nobility and Royalty
from all over the World.
the past three decades Ian GB has created in three dimensions
over one hundred and thirty unique heraldic sculptures for the British
Royal Household, including a number created directly for The College
of Arms in London which is one of the few remaining official heraldic
authorities in Europe and is not only the official heraldic authority
for England, Wales and Northern Ireland but also much of the
Commonwealth including Australia and New Zealand.
carved, painted and gilded Coats of Arms and Crests have been
installed in such diverse places as Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey,
St Paul's Cathedral, The College of Arms, Museums, Government
Buildings, Company Receptions, Board Rooms, HMS Victory, Cunard Ships,
Public Places and both Stately and Private Homes all over the World.
commissions have included creating a wide variety of sculptures for
both Private and Corporate clients, along with over one hundred and
thirty unique heraldic sculptures for the British Royal Household.
These commissions have included creating sculptures for over one
hundred Knights, four British Prime Ministers, twenty-eight British
and European Kings, Queens, Princes, Princesses, Earls, Lords, an
Emperor and over two hundred Ladies and Gentlemen from all over the
Examples of Ian’s sculptures can also be found on book and magazine covers and also on a set of Royal Mail Postage Stamps featuring Windsor Castle issued in 2017.
Examples of Ian’s carved wood, marble/resin and bronze Coats of Arms
Arms are custom made to size with the detail upon the shield, also carved in base-relief; not just painted upon the shield and can be finished with either enamel paints or polished.
Various Arms and Crests being worked on in Ian’s studio.
Sculptor Ian G Brennan has exhibited his work in such diverse venues as
Art Galleries, Museums and during
1990 the Museum Service in England toured a large collection of his
sculptures as a 'one man' exhibition to various museums throughout the
Ian has also exhibited his work in the Queens Room on the QE2, Burlington House; Home of the Royal Academy of Arts and also within the Historic Royal setting of St George's Chapel and even the dungeons of Windsor Castle, where he has also been invited to give talks about the various aspects of his work. Since 1992 Ian has regularly been invited as a Guest Speaker on-board the QE2 and the three latest Cunard Queens.
St George’s Chapel Windsor – Grand Lobby Queen Victoria – St Paul’s’ Cathedral - The Lady Chapel Westminster Abbey
webpages include a photographic record of all the
carved, painted and gilded Royal Crowns, Coronets and Crests which
have been placed in St George's Chapel in Windsor
Castle and Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey since 1989.
Commissioned for the latest Royal Knights, Knight and Ladies of
the Most Noble Order of the Garter and the most senior Knights
Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.
Using photographs taken many shows how Ian has created a number of these Crowns and Crests transforming often ancient and historic two-dimensional designs into unique three-dimensional carved and painted Heraldic Sculptures.
Please click centre photo to enlarge
The larger version of the Coat of Arms was originally carved in wood and the smaller replica was then cast in bronze - carved and stained lime wood Arms with Supporters - painted lime wood Arms- lime wood and bronze version of Arms without Supporters
( 36 inches high x 30 inches wide ) ( 30 inches high x 26 inches wide ) (18 inches high x 17 inches wide) ( 25 inches high x 16 inches wide )
For further information please contact Ian GB at email@example.com
|Heraldry is often seen as an ancient exciting picture language using stunning images, vibrant design and visual colour, incorporating a glorious mêlée of signs and symbols which are frequently chosen not only to reflect the life but also the career of the person concerned. Although Heraldry is viewed by many today as an ancient art form, its images of Coats of Arms and Crests are as strong and relevant today as they were in the Middle Ages. All over the World Heraldic Arts traditional striking designs of realistic and fanciful creatures are often borrowed and turned into successful Corporate trademarks and modern logos.
Outlined here are some examples of carved and painted Coat of Arms and Crests Ian G Brennan has created during the past thirty-five plus years and although only a selection of these sculptures Ian has created for private clients and particularly the Royal Household are shown on this website, it does however give an idea of the wide variety of unique heraldic sculptures he has been commissioned to create in both bas-relief and three dimensions during this period.
Carved Lime wood painted and gilded Coats of Arms and Crests - In Mediaeval time to identify an individual Knight in full armour riding on Horseback, he would display his unique ‘Crest’ upon his helm and display his Arms upon his shield
Ian is now also considering creating a small number of castings of a Knight on horseback set upon a piece of English Burr Elm. The sculpture would have the individual client's own unique Crest and Arms placed upon the Knights Helm and Shield, cast in either gilded solid marble/resin as shown, or cast in solid bronze. (20 inches high)
|In 1989 Heraldic Sculptor Ian G Brennan was officially appointed ‘Sculptor to the Most Noble Order of the Garter and the Most Honourable Order of the Bath’ and since that time Ian spends an average of five months of each year on a wide variety of unique commissions in both wood and bronze for the British Royal Household.
For the past thirty years many of commissions from the Royal Household have included creating carved and painted Coats of Arms in bas-relief and carved and painted Crest in three-dimensions, including all the carved, painted and gilded Crests for the latest Knights of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath which was first established in 1725; along with creating all the Royal Crowns, Coronets and Knights Crests for the latest Ladies and Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Garter which was first established in 1348. These are two of the oldest and highest Orders of Chivalry in the World and records show that Ian G Brennan has individually created more of these unique sculpted Heraldic achievements than any other person since records began and continues to do so today.
Currently there are over seventy of Ian’s sculptures on public display in the ancient and historic settings of St Paul’s Cathedral, Henry V11 Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey and St George’s Chapel, in Windsor Castle. These Heraldic commissions vary from gilded Crowns and Coronets, to carved and painted Crests and Coats of Arms produced in high bas-relief and three dimensions.
These commissions have included realistic sculptures of animals, birds and the human form along with the more traditional heraldic carvings which include Regal Lions, Royal Unicorns and Mythical Beasts
HM the Queen in procession to St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle for the instillation of Royal Knights and Knights and Lady Companions of the Most Noble Order of the Garter
Shown below are a
small selection of the 139 Coats of Arms, Royal Crowns, Coronets and Crests created by Ian GB
which were commissioned by the Royal Household during the past thirty years
and many are placed on display in Henry V11 Chapel in Westminster Abbey and St
George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
The Crowns and Crest for King Harold V1 of Norway – Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands -Emperor Akihito of Japan – King Felipe of Spain and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.
Ian’s sculptures have been placed in many diverse places including Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, The Royal College of Arms, Museums, Government Buildings, Company Receptions, Board Rooms, Churches, The United Grand Lodge of England, HMS Victory, Cunard Ships, Public Spaces and both Stately and Private Homes all over the World.
The carved and gilded Crown for King Felipe V1 of Spain Ian completed twenty-nine years after he produced the Crown for King Felipe’s Father, King Juan Carlos.
It is exceptionally rare since the Order of the Garter’s foundation 1348, for two identical carved, painted and gilded Crowns to be displayed in St George’s Chapel Windsor at the same time. King Juan Carlos Crown was produced by Ian in 1989 along with King Felipe V1 of Spain’s Crown completed and placed in St George’s Chapel during May 2018.
Later that same year Ian was also commissioned to create the Crown for King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and was placed in the Chapel in 2019 alongside the Crown Ian produced the King's Mother Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands thirty years earlier.
Knight of the Bath Crests being worked on in Ian’s studio and then being placed in Henry V11 Chapel in Westminster Abbey.
During the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, thirty-two of Ian’s carved painted and gilded Crowns, Coronets and Crests commissioned by the Royal Household were on display either side of the aisle within the Quire of St George’s Chapel.. During the Royal wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Westminster Abbey, thirty-four of Ian’s carved and painted Crests, also commissioned by the Royal Household, were on display in Henry V11 Chapel.
wide variety of the 137 commissions Ian G Brennan has received from the
Royal Household during the past thirty plus years can be well illustrated
when during one year alone Ian was commissioned to create more realistic
sculptures such as a Knight in Armour on Horseback, a Hawk, Labrador and
On St George’s Day at Windsor Castle in 2005, Ian was also informed by HM The Queen that HRH Prince William; The Duke of Cambridge, was to become the 1000 Knight of the Garter to hold this the highest order of Chivalry since 1348, Ian was later also commissioned to produce Princess Williams Royal Crest and Sword.
HRH Prince William’s The Duke of Cambridge’s Royal Crest – The Prince’s Crest and Sword in St George's Chapel Windsor – the small red escallop.
HRH Prince William’s Royal Crest and Sword now placed upon the Prince’s helmet in St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle. As the second in line to the British throne; Prince William of Wales like his father the Prince of Wales, also uses a white label of three points but in addition on the lion is a small carved red ‘escallop’ to honour the memory of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales. The decision for Prince William to recognise his mother this way is a break with tradition as it is highly unusual for members of the Royal Family to include maternal symbols in their heraldic emblems.
Shown below; Heraldic Artist Ian G Brennan's carved and gilded Royal Crests and Coronet ; The Crests which were commissioned for the most recent Royal Knights to be awarded this the most senior Order of Chivalry, the Most Noble Order of the Garter. These three carved Crests for HM The Queen's sons Prince Andrew, The Duke of York and Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex and the Queen's grandson HRH Prince William, recognises their seniority within the Royal family; joining their mother, The Sovereign HM Queen Elizabeth II, father Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, brother Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales and sister Princess Anne, The Princess Royal.
The Royal Crests and Coronet carved by Ian for the HRH The Princess Royal, HRH Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex and HRH Prince Andrew; The Duke of York; The Duke of York’s Royal Crest placed upon his Knights helmet in St George's Chapel Windsor Castle
For a panoramic view of many of the Royal Crowns, Coronets and Crests created by Ian G Brennan commissioned for the Royal Knights, Knights and Ladies of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle. Please click here.
The carved Royal Unicorn sculpture shown in St George's Chapel Windsor and a limited-edition bronze version - 37 inches (94cm) long
A selection of the 127 Crowns, Coronets and Crests carved and painted by Ian G Brennan between 1989 - 2021
for the Royal Knights, Knights and Ladies of the Most Noble Order of the Garter which were placed in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Shown top to bottom – left to right
Sir John Major - HRH The Duke of Cambridge; Prince William - Sir Edmund Hillary
Baroness Margaret Thatcher – The Duke of Devonshire – HM King Harald V of Norway
Lord Butler of Brockwell – His Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan – Sir Edward Heath.
Please click to enlarge
|The carved Coronet and Crests for a Lady and Knights Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter along with four carved Crests for the most senior Knights Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, in sculptor Ian G Brennan's studio awaiting delivery to Windsor Castle and Westminster Abbey. They include the Coronet for Lady Soames, daughter of Sir Winston Churchill and Crests for the former British Prime Minister Sir John Major (Stag) and the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham of Corhill (Griffin) for further information Garter Crests. Bath Crests.|
selection of the 127 carved, painted and gilded Crowns, Coronets and Crests
placed in St George’s Chapel Windsor and Henry V11 Chapel in Westminster Abbey
Ian has created during the past thirty years.
Although Sculptor Ian GB specialises in Heraldic sculptures, for
other examples of Ian’s
sculptures and commissions. Please click here
The Queen Victoria Crest and modern Cunard Logo commissioned for the Grand Lobby of the new Cunard Liner the Queen Victoria
40 inches wide x 35 inches high -- 40 inches x 58 inches high
For further details and stage photographs showing how both Cunard bas relief sculptures were produced; please click appropriate photographs.
During 2022 the recently completed Coronet for the Queen Consort in Ian’s studio being worked on long with one of his regular visitors arriving from the nearby forest and a week later the Coronet was placed in position in St Georges Chapel Windsor alongside the Coronet Ian created almost three decades earlier, for Princess Anne, The Princess Royal.
What a difference four decades can make. One day in 1976 I decided to give up my full-time career as an assistant research and development engineer working in clean room conditions in a laboratory surrounded by the latest cutting-edge technology. To the next in far less spotless conditions making furniture surrounded by hand tools that had seen better days in a dusty shed making furniture full time than I had previously been making part time. Then in my mid-twenties I had a midlife crisis having decided my new forever career was to be a carpenter just like my Grandad, until fate decided otherwise. When a decade the transformation from a part time carpenter to full time cabinet maker was up and running like a saw after moving into a much larger workshop fully equipped with the finest three-phase woodworking machinery to cope with a full order book and after many months of early starts and late nights working as a one-man band trying to keep up with my ever-increasing repertoire, when overnight my furniture making business burnt down when I finally manage to get some sleep.
‘Day one’ in the spring and months later still playing catch up making Furniture and by winter time the same place but different Craft.
My new career from a cabinetmaker to sculptor began in 1984 when I found myself with no stock, machinery, tools, or a workshop with walls and especially a roof. Waiting customers who had paid stage and final payments for their recently completed furniture including a cedar wood kitchen corner seating unit and table. A fully fitted solid oak kitchen and the remaining solid mahogany galley units recently completed for the classic 1930’s J Class Yacht Velsheda. All highly polished and just waiting delivery, but then just a pile of burnt embers lying beneath the soles of my increasingly warming up boots. Fragments of blackened timbers occasionally still glowing from the intense heat of the fire recently extinguished by the local fire brigade who with a job well done and heavy red hoses rolling up and after wishing me luck, were soon on their way. Blackened burnt timbers covered by layers of thick grey dust that in the odd place underneath were glowing red hot and with each gust of wind, fragments of what remained of my business, income and customers furniture orders would gently fly away into the night sky like tiny Chinese lanterns……
Then realising I had made a silly mistake with renewing my business insurance policy, subsequently left me uninsured and standing in the blackened rubble amongst the still smoking burnt out workshop as Dawn was about to rise with a dozen or so of large three-phase woodworking machines that were caught in the centre of it all, still hot to the touch. Machines that only the day before were warm in other ways as they were busily earning their keep along with another bag of fresh bedding for next door's rabbits. Being free-lance I soon found myself with no prospects of earning income anytime soon along with a five-figure overdraft residing with a Bank who did not bear bad news well and that patience was not a virtue, as Head office strongly advised me to take my overdraft elsewhere as they no longer wished to lend their no doubt ample funds with the likes of me.
As a result, the house which I had purchased a decade earlier along with a large garden and a small mortgage from the compensation I received for my injuries and the wages lost over the years waiting for them to heal, after being knocked of my motorcycle on Good Friday by a Van in a hurry and the house that the crash built, was then at risk of being reposed effectively if I couldn’t make something from nothing and the monies deposited in a pretty timely fashion…...
However, if at the time I had simply renewed my business insurance correctly like most people tend to do and have done so in the past. I would have simply replaced all my tools, machines and timber with the insurance and moved into a new workshop with electricity, walls and especially a roof. Take on staff to help with my full order book and would simply have to start again like you do and as a consequence the sculptures shown here and the hundreds of sculptures not shown here, commissioned from all over the world and also much closer to home, would most likely never have existed……..
Including over 140 commissions from the British royal household during the past thirty-four years which include creating the bejewelled Crowns for six European Kings and Queens as well as creating the gilded Crown for Queen Camila. Along with creating a wide variety of unique sculptures for Four British Prime Ministers, Twenty-five Princes, Princesses, Earls, Lords, Ladies, and an Emperor. Over thirty of which could be seen placed on both sides of the historic chapels in Westminster Abbey and the medieval chapel St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle where in 2022 King Charles 111 made his first Christmas address to the Nation and beyond.
St Georges’ Chapel Windsor. - Christmas 2022.
The final commissions Ian completed during the reign of HM The Queen Elizabeth 11 were the gilded and bejewelled coronet for the Queen Consort for St Georges' Chapel in Windsor Castle and crests of a Golden Eagle in Flight for Henry V11 Chapel in Westminster Abbey. The first two commissions completed during the reign of the HM King Charles 111 included a crests of a carved Dog for Westminster Abbey and a Panther and Mute Swan for Windsor Castle, which are due be placed alongside Ian’s other totally unique sculptures currently on display St George’s Chapel for the Order of the Garter service held at Windsor Castle in June. The sculptures of the Dog and Golden Eagle were commissioned for Henry V11 Chapel in Westminster Abbey and were completed in time for the King's Coronation at Westminster Abbey in May…….
"If only I could have known on that fateful day of the fire on May the 7th 1984 when I was standing amongst the ruins of my workshop and career trying to find something, anything that could be salvaged from the fire to use or sell to try and make ends meet. I would discover as dawn was rising, the inspiration for a totally new career hidden deep beneath the blackened rubble of my workshop and career that every night was being transformed into the local tip. That exactly 21 years to the very day, I would instead be standing in the St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle exhibiting wood and bronze sculptures I wasn’t aware I was capable of creating. Along with over seventy other sculptures commissioned at the time by the royal household, many of which were placed upon the walls in the historic medieval chapels in Windsor Castle and Westminster Abbey, having been invited to give a 'Talk' my first talk at Windsor Castle about my new career as a professional sculptor and woodcarver whose work can now be found all over the world and much closer to home. That everything would eventually work out in the end and that things might not have been quite so worrying at the time; but you don’t do you”.
'Success is not how high you can climb, but how long you can hang on’
This particular journey over the decades along with all its ups and downs on the way including from 1992 to 2023 having been invited by Cunard to cruise the seven seas and a few oceans along the way from the QE2 to the QM2 to give fully illustrated, informative and often inspirational talks about my work and career as a sculptor and how it all came about and often after my Talks it has been suggested I should write a book about it and a few years ago decided to do so which will include many of the high and low points and so much more in between, with sections of the first draft to be added here shortly and at www.ohwhatnow.co.uk later.
Sculptor Ian G Brennan
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Ian G Brennan – nr Portsmouth - Hampshire. UK. SO31 9GN.
in St George's Chapel Windsor Castle by Ian GB are used with the
kind permission of The Deans and Canons of Windsor, permission for further use
of these images must be sought from the Chapter Office, The Cloisters, Windsor
in Henry V11 Chapel Westminster Abbey by Ian GB are used
with kind permission of The Dean and Chapter of Westminster,
permission for further use of these images must be sought from the
Chapter Office, Westminster Abbey, 20 Dean's Yard. London.
Copyright Ian G Brennan.
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