[Illustration: QUEEN’S CORONATION BRACELETS.]
The ARMILLAE, or BRACELETS, are of solid fine gold, chased, 1-1/2 inch in breadth, edged with rows of pearls. They open by a hinge, and are enamelled with the rose, fleur-de-lis, and harp.
[Illustration: IMPERIAL ORB.]
The IMPERIAL ORB, or MOUND, is an emblem of sovereignty, said to have been derived from Imperial Rome, and to have been first adorned with the cross by Constantine, on his conversion to Christianity. It first appears among the Royal insignia of England on the coins of Edward the Confessor. This orb is a ball of gold, 6 inches in diameter, encompassed with a band of gold, set with emeralds, rubies, and pearls. On the top is a remarkably fine amethyst, nearly 1-1/2 inch high, which serves as the foot or pedestal of a rich cross of gold, 32 inches high, encrusted with diamonds; having in the centre, on one side, a sapphire, and an emerald on the other; four large pearls at the angles of the cross, a large pearl at the end of each limb, and three at the base; the height of the orb and cross being 11 inches.
The QUEEN’S ORB is of smaller dimensions than the preceding, but of similar materials and fashion.
[Illustration: GOLDEN SALT-CELLAR OF STATE.]
[Illustration: STATE SALT-CELLARS.]
The SALT-CELLARS are of singular form and rich workmanship. The most noticeable is—the Golden Salt-cellar of State, which is of pure gold, richly adorned with jewels, and grotesque figures in chased work. Its form is castellated: and the receptacles for the salt are formed by the removal of the tops of the turrets.
In the same chamber with the Crowns, Sceptres, and other Regalia used in the ceremonial of the Coronation, is a very interesting collection of plate, formerly used at Coronation festivals; together with fonts, &c. Amongst these are
The QUEEN’S BAPTISMAL FONT, which is of silver, gilt, tastefully chased, and surmounted by two figures emblematical of the baptismal rite: this font was formerly used at the christening of the Royal family; but a new font of more picturesque design, has lately be n manufactured for her Majesty.
[Illustration: QUEEN’S BAPTISMAL FONT.]
There are, besides, in the collection, a large Silver Wine Fountain, presented by the corporation of Plymouth to Charles II.; two massive Coronation Tankards, of gold; a Banqueting Dish, and other dishes and spoons of gold, used at Coronation festivals; besides a beautifully-wrought service of Sacramental Plate, employed at the Coronation, and used also in the Chapel of St. Peter in the Tower.
* * * * *
[Illustration: Letter I.]