The plan here is to have a subthread for each variety of ornament.
How to begin such a vast topic? With an extract from Twining -
“ In the reign of Edward the Confessor (1042-65) we find the sceptre with the cross pattée depicted on silver pennies, whilst on the first Great Seal of the same king, which was in use from 1053 to 1065, the monarch is shown holding in his right hand a sceptre surmounted by a dove and in his left hand a sword. Both these forms have survived to the present day but during the Middle Ages kings were portrayed with sceptres surmounted by a variety of finials. Harold (1066) is shown on his coinage with a sceptre with four pearls; William II (1087-1100) with an ornament topped by a trefoil or fleuron of the kind later known as the sceptre fleury; Edward II’s second seal of absence shows a sceptre surmounted by a small monstrance or shrine while that of Henry IV bears a fleur-de-lis. “
Jumping way ahead to Barker, under Cromwell the ancient crowns and regalia of England had been destroyed by Act of Parliament, as symbols of ‘the detestable rule of kings’.
“On 3 June 1643 Parliament resolved ‘that the locks on the doors where the Regalia are kept, in Westminster Abbey, shall be opened ... and a search made there, and an Inventory taken of what things are there’. “
“ The old chests in the Abbey may also have held the regal ornaments of some of our Saxon kings. The coronation robe of Wiglaf, King of Mercia in the ninth century, for example, had come into the keeping of the Abbey. “
“ All the Regalia were ‘broken and defaced’. The jewels were sold or plundered, the gold melted down. “
“ Some of the jewels from the ancient Regalia appeared after the restoration of Charles II. They had been bought by Stuart sympathisers. “
“ In 1660, therefore, Charles II was restored to a kingdom which was, literally, without a crown. His coronation was delayed while the new Regalia were designed and made by the goldsmith, Sir Robert Vyner, at a cost of £32,000. “
These are the Regalia we will be looking into in this thread, seeking symbolism and meaning.
First, a relatively unknown ornament.
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