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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Slide

1650-1660 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is a political jewel made to commemorate Charles I, executed in 1649, and to show support for the young Charles II, whose portrait is shown beside that of his father. Both father and son wear the blue riband of the Order of the Garter. The sides of the jewel are decorated in white champlevé enamel and the back with flowers painted in polychrome enamel. Two vertical gold loops on the back of the jewel, which were once enamelled white, allowed the jewel to be worn on a ribbon as a slide, probably around the neck. The loop on top of the jewel was for suspension when it was worn as a pendant. A drop, perhaps a pearl, would have hung from the empty loop on the bottom of the jewel.

In 1642 Queen Henrietta Maria, on her return from the Netherlands, where she had been raising funds for the royalist army, distributed inexpensive rings, lockets and slides with the king’s portrait to supporters who lent money. After his death, Charles I’s portrait was worn by royalists on many jewels, especially rings, but, before the Restoration in 1660, the portrait was sometimes concealed from prying parliamentary eyes under a flap or inside a locket. His execution was seen by his most fervent supporters as a sacrilegious act. In 1662, following the restoration of the monarchy, a service was added to the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England to commemorate the anniversary of his execution, ‘the day of the Martyrdom of the Blessed King Charles the First’.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold and enamel
Brief Description
Slide pendant with enamelled portrait of Charles I and Charles II with painted enamel flowers on the reverse, England, about 1650-60.
Physical Description
Oval pendant set with an enamelled double portrait of King Charles I and King Charles II. The gold frame is enamelled, the reverse painted with flowers on a white ground.
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.9cm
  • Width: 3.1cm
  • Depth: 0.4cm
Credit line
Given by Dame Joan Evans
Subjects depicted
Summary
This is a political jewel made to commemorate Charles I, executed in 1649, and to show support for the young Charles II, whose portrait is shown beside that of his father. Both father and son wear the blue riband of the Order of the Garter. The sides of the jewel are decorated in white champlevé enamel and the back with flowers painted in polychrome enamel. Two vertical gold loops on the back of the jewel, which were once enamelled white, allowed the jewel to be worn on a ribbon as a slide, probably around the neck. The loop on top of the jewel was for suspension when it was worn as a pendant. A drop, perhaps a pearl, would have hung from the empty loop on the bottom of the jewel.



In 1642 Queen Henrietta Maria, on her return from the Netherlands, where she had been raising funds for the royalist army, distributed inexpensive rings, lockets and slides with the king’s portrait to supporters who lent money. After his death, Charles I’s portrait was worn by royalists on many jewels, especially rings, but, before the Restoration in 1660, the portrait was sometimes concealed from prying parliamentary eyes under a flap or inside a locket. His execution was seen by his most fervent supporters as a sacrilegious act. In 1662, following the restoration of the monarchy, a service was added to the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England to commemorate the anniversary of his execution, ‘the day of the Martyrdom of the Blessed King Charles the First’.

Bibliographic References
  • Bury, Shirley, Jewellery Gallery Summary Catalogue (London, 1982),
  • Scarisbrick, Diana, Jewellery in Britain 1066-1837. A documentary, literary, social and artistic survey (Wilby, Norwich, 1994)
  • Phillips, Clare, Jewels & Jewellery (London, 2000, revised edn., 2008)
  • Dicks, Sophia, The King’s Blood: Relics of Charles I , exhibition catalogue, at Wartski, London, 2010
  • Lincoln, Margarette, ed. Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution. Catalogue of the exhibition held 20 November 2015 - 28 March 2016 at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. London: Thames and Hudson, 2015. ISBN 9780500518144
Collection
Accession Number
M.253-1975

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record createdJanuary 13, 2003
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