Mobile menu
Our sites and phone lines are temporarily closed, but you can browse the Collection online. More info
Rundell Bridge & Rundell

The Jewelled Sword of Offering 1820

Gold, blued and gilt steel, silver, diamonds, rubies, emeralds. Scabbard of leather, gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, turquoise, lined in silk velvet | RCIN 31726

Jewel House, Jewel House

Your share link is...

  Close

  • The sword has a straight, narrow, sharply tapering blade of partly blued and gilt steel, decorated on both faces with the national emblems (roses, thistles and shamrocks) among strapwork scrolls, the Royal coat of arms, a royal crown with GR monogram and a later WR monogram, a trophy of arms, and a figure of Britannia. The cruciform gold hilt has short, straight quillons terminating in cast and chased lion masks, densely set overall with diamonds, with ruby-set eyes; with a rectangular quillon block, with a large central emerald on each side - on the front a rectangular stone, on the back an octagonal one, both framed in diamonds; a straight grip set with diamond oak sprays, with emerald acorns; and a pommel set with diamonds, with a central emerald on each side and four rubies at the end. The leather scabbard is entirely encased in sheet gold and lined in red silk velvet. The scabbard is chased with roses, thistles and shamrocks, set with dimaonds, rubies and emeralds, with a similar chased design on the reverse, on a matted ground; the mouth-locket is mounted with sapphires and a ruby. The chape is decorated with diamond oak-leaf sprays with emerald acorns and a large turquoise on each side.

    The design of the sword was suggested by George IV himself, and it was paid for out of the King's privy purse. The cost was £5,988. It was used as a Sword of Offering in his coronation ceremony in 1821. By tradition the Sword of Offering was retained by the sovereign after the coronation, and this example was not reused at a coronation ceremony until 1902 when it was used by Edward VII, and it was at this date that it joined the regalia in the Tower of London. It has been used as the Sword of Offering at every subsequent coronation.

    The Sword of Offering is one of the objects with which the sovereign is invested during the coronation ceremony. This takes place after the anointing, when the sovereign is then robed and presented with a number of symbolic ornaments. Many of these relate to knightly virtues. The Archbishop blesses the sword and then delivers it to the monarch with the injunction that it should be used for the protection of good and the punishment of evil. The sword is then offered on the altar. After the investiture the sovereign is then crowned.
    Provenance

    Supplied for the coronation of George IV in 1821 by the royal goldsmiths, Rundell, Bridge & Rundell

  • Medium and techniques

    Gold, blued and gilt steel, silver, diamonds, rubies, emeralds. Scabbard of leather, gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, turquoise, lined in silk velvet