Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Crystal Sceptre

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The Crystal Sceptre (occasionally described as a mace) is part of the regalia of the Lord Mayor of London. It was presented to the City of London by King Henry V to thank the city for having provided the king with 10,000 marks (6,666 pounds sterling) to fund a war in France in 1415, when his army captured Harfleur and then won the Battle of Agincourt.

The sceptre measures 17 inches (43 cm) long, with a long thin twisting rock crystal shaft in two parts mounted with gold and pearls. A gold crown with alternating fleur-de-lys and cross embellishments decorates one end, mounted with jewels including Afghan red spinel, Ceylon blue sapphires, and pearls from the Persian Gulf; within the circlet of the crown is a painting on parchment of the Royal Arms of England adopted in 1406, quartering three fleurs-de-lys for France with three lions for England. The crown may have been adapted from a religious sculpture of the Virgin Mary. The other end has a large glass boss.

The sceptre was probably made in Paris, c.1380-1420, and presented to the City of London between 1415 and 1421: it was depicted being held by the Lord Mayor of London in a painting of the coronation of Queen Catherine of Valois In February 1421. A rare survived of medieval gold, it was hidden during the Commonwealth and kept safe by the Lord Mayor Sir Thomas Bloodworth during the Great Fire of London in 1666. The glass boss was replaced by the jewellers Rundell, Bridge & Rundell in the 1830s.

The sceptre is kept in the City's vaults, and usually only seen in public at the coronation of a monarch. It is one of the symbolic items - sceptre, sword, purse, seal - that are touched during the annual Silent Ceremony to install a new Lord Mayor each November, but remains in its protective box throughout.

The sceptre went on public display for the first time in 2015, at the Guildhall Art Gallery.

References

Crystal Sceptre Wikipedia


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