The Illustrated London Reading Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 275 pages of information about The Illustrated London Reading Book.

The OLD IMPERIAL CROWN (St. Edward’s) is the one whose form is so familiar to us from its frequent representation on the coin of the realm, the Royal arms, &c.  It was made for the coronation of Charles II., to replace the one broken up and sold during the Civil Wars, which was said to have been worn by Edward the Confessor.  It is of gold, and consists of two arches crossing at the top, and rising from a rim or circlet of gold, over a cap of crimson velvet, lined with white taffeta, and turned up with ermine.  The base of the arches on each side is covered by a cross pattee; between the crosses are four fleurs-de-lis of gold, which rise out of the circle:  the whole of these are splendidly enriched with pearls and precious stones.  On the top, at the intersection of the arches, which are somewhat depressed, are a mound and cross of gold the latter richly jewelled, and adorned with three pearls, one on the top, and one pendent at each limb.

[Illustration:  PRINCE OF WALES’S CROWN.]

The PRINCE OF WALES’S CROWN is of pure gold, unadorned with jewels.  On occasions of state, it is placed before the seat occupied by the Heir-Apparent to the throne in the House of Lords.

[Illustration:  QUEEN’S DIADEM.]

[Illustration:  TEMPORAL SCEPTRE.]

The QUEEN’S DIADEM was made for the coronation of Marie d’Este, consort of James II., it is adorned with large diamonds, and the upper edge of the circlet is bordered with pearls.

The TEMPORAL SCEPTRE of Queen Victoria is of gold, 2 feet 9 inch in length; the staff is very plain, but the pommel is ornamented with rubies, emeralds, and diamonds.  The fleurs-de-lis with which this sceptre was originally adorned have been replaced by golden leaves, bearing the rose, shamrock, and thistle.  The cross is variously jewelled, and has in the centre a large table diamond.

[Illustration:  SPIRITUAL SCEPTRE.]

Her Majesty’s SPIRITUAL SCEPTRE, Rod of Equity, or Sceptre with the Dove, is also of gold, 3 feet 7 inches long, set with diamonds and other precious stones.  It is surmounted by an orb, banded with rose diamonds, bearing a cross, on which is the figure of a dove with expanded wings.

The QUEEN’S IVORY SCEPTRE was made for Maria d’Este, consort of James II.  It is mounted in gold, and terminated by a golden cross, bearing a dove of white onyx.

[Illustration:  AMPULLA.]

The ampulla is an antique vessel of pure gold, used for containing the holy oil at coronations.  It resembles an eagle with expanded wings, and is finely chased:  the head screws off at the middle of the neck for pouring in the oil; and the neck being hollow to the beak the latter serves as a spout, through which the consecrated oil is poured into

[Illustration:  ANOINTING SPOON.]

The ANOINTING SPOON, which is also of pure gold:  it has four pearls in the broadest part of the handle, and the bowl of the spoon is finely chased within and without; by its extreme thinness, it appears to be ancient.

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The Illustrated London Reading Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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