Saturday, 3 September 2016

Spectacular Crowns

Danish Crown of King Christian IV. The crown was made by Didrik Fyren in Odense in the years 1595-1596 for the coronation of Christian IV. It is made of gold, enamel, table cut gemstones and pearls and weighs 2895 g.

Originally an open crown, in 1648 it was closed with arches and an orb and cross, but Christian V later removed these again, using the diamonds and gold from them in the making of his own crown. It was used for the last time at the 1648 coronation of Frederick III.
The King’s Crown of Bavaria is adorned with diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds and pearls. The Wittelsbach Diamond was removed and sold in 1931 by the Wittelsbach family. The Crown of the King of Bavaria was ordered and designed 1804–1807 for Maximilian I after Napoleon had raised Bavaria to kingdom status.

French goldsmith Jean-Baptiste de Lasne drew inspiration from the crown of Louis XV of France. Maximilian's alliance with Emperor Napoleon earned him the royal title and vast territorial increases at the Treaty of Pressburg (1805). This made him one of the chief members of the Confederation of the Rhine. His daughter was married to Napoleon's stepson, Eugène de Beauharnais. Like other royal insignia, the crown was not worn by the sovereign. It was placed on a cushion at his feet during official ceremonies.
The Imperial Crown of Austria was originally the crown of Rudolf II, the Holy Roman Emperor of the House of Hapsburg. After 1806, it became the crown of the Austrian Empire.

The Imperial Crown of the Habsburg Empire of Austria was never used for a coronation. The ceremony held was an act of investiture to mark the monarch's official ascension to the throne rather than a coronation. The crown of Rudolf II was made in 1602 in Prague by Jan Vermeyen, one of the most outstanding goldsmiths of his time, who was called specially from Antwerp. The crown is made out of three parts: the circlet (Kronreif), the high arch (Kronbügel), and a mitre (Mitra).
The Imperial State Crown is one of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom and symbolises the sovereignty of the monarch. It has existed in various forms since the 15th century. The Imperial State Crown made in 1937 for King George VI features 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and 5 rubies.

The Imperial State Crown is 31.5 cm (12.4 in) tall and weighs 1.06 kg (2.3 lb) The frame is made of gold, silver and platinum. Notable stones are St Edward's Sapphire on the top cross and the Black Prince's Ruby (a large spinel) on the front cross. In 1909, the 104-carat (21 g) Stuart Sapphire, set in the front of the crown, was moved to the back and replaced by the 317-carat (63 g) Cullinan II – the second-largest clear cut diamond in the world. The crown is worn by the monarch on leaving Westminster Abbey at the end of the coronation ceremony. It is also worn at the annual State Opening of Parliament.