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When the Hanovarians succeeded to the British throne in 1714 they did not inherit a comprehensive collection of portraits of English kings and queens of England. The only portraits of medieval monarchs then in the collection were six panels depicting Henr

Richard II (1367-1400) ©

Since it was first worked into decorative forms about 5000 years ago, gold has inspired and appealed to artists around the world. The rarity and incorruptibility of gold – as it does not tarnish – ensure that it has always been associated with the highest status, both earthly and divine. The versatile nature of gold allows it to be used in a wide variety of ways: beaten into thin leaves which can be applied to furniture or to the pages of illuminated manuscripts, or cast and shaped into cups, boxes and other precious vessels. This exhibition brings together items from across the Royal Collection to celebrate the symbolic nature and many uses of gold.

Attributed to British School, 16th century

Richard II (1367-1400)

Philip Rundell (1746-1827)


Worshipful Company of Girdlers [London]

Coronation girdle