Then the King was Exceeding Sorry by George Tinworth. Terracotta, 5 ¾ inches high x 12 ½ inches wide x 2 inches deep. Private collection. Signed: “G. TINWORTH / GT (entwined initials). Below ledge on right “H. DOULTON & CO / LAMBETH.” Below ledge on left “MANSC’RGH.” Inscription: “THEN THE KING WAS EXCEEDING SORRY, YET FOR HIS OATH SAKE AND FOR THEIR SAKES / WHICH SAT WITH HIM HE WOULD NOT REJECT HER.” Inscribed on bottom edge: “BUT THE TONGUE CAN NO MAN TAME, IT IS AN UNRULY EVIL, FULL OF DEADLY POISON.”

When Cosmo Monkhouse described Tinworth’s biblical scene, which he called The Distress of Herod, in the 1883 Magazine of Art, he pointed out that “Although the distress of Herod at the request of Salome is often marked by the old artists, his "exceeding" sorrow has never, as far as I know, been shown so strongly as in our second panel. Notwithstanding the presence of his guests, the Tetrarch buries his head between his arms and grasps the table-cloth convulsively. This work shows how inadequate sculpture in small is to represent slight distinctions of expression. No amount of labour could give much distinctness of character to bearded heads of this size, The shades in the hollows of mouth, eyes, and nostrils reduce them to masks” (343).

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Photographs and caption material by the owner. Other material from the Internet Archive. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Monkhouse, Cosmo. “Stories in Terra-Cotta.” Magazine of Art. 6 (1883): 340-44. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of Toronto Library. Web. 5 September 2013.

Last modified 1 May 2017