Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mastery of Design: The "Prince of Wales Feathers" Brooch, 1842

Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

I've written at length about Prince Albert's fondness for showering his Royal wife with lavish gifts.  He especially enjoyed doing so after the births of their nine children.  Given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert on February 10, 1842, this handsome brooch was meant to mark the occasion of the Prince of Wales's (later King Edward VII) birth, which had taken place on November 9. 1841.

The gold brooch takes the form of Prince of Wales feathers, symbol of the Prince, enamelled white above a base set with pearls emeralds and rubies.  Below the feathers is a ribbon with ICH DIEN in gold.  Meaning, "I Serve," these words typically adorn the heraldry of the Prince of Wales.

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