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photograph of current display in the Grand Vestibule

A display highlighting the interaction between the monarchy and the wider world


Crown 1000 - 1400

RCIN 62903

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This delicate gold crown dates from 1000 to 1400 AD. It was excavated in 1854 in the Cuenca region of the highlands of Ecuador. A large number of gold objects have been found in this area, suggesting that a sophisticated Northern Andean gold-working tradition existed there before the Incas inhabited the region. Little is known about how these crowns were worn, but they may have carried religious symbolism or been worn by local chieftains. The delicate comb-like structure above the circlet may be intended to mimic a feather headdress. The crown was presented to Queen Victoria in 1862 by the President of the Republic of Ecuador.