The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Sceptre
  • Sceptre
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany, probably Augsburg
  • c. 1600
  • Silver, velvet and gold, chased
  • Length: 66.3 cm
    Weight: 0.64 kg
  • A991
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Sceptre, of silver, hollow, of tapering baluster form, with cylindrical grip covered with crimson velvet. In front of the grip, the base of the baluster is overlaid with decorative mounts of silver-gilt, pierced and chased, with the figures of the Virgin and Child, St. Peter and St. Paul in architectural frames of Renaissance ornament. At intervals before and behind the grip, round the baluster, and at the summit, are circular hollow bands of puffed ornament, constructed of spirally twisted ribands of silver, similar to the ornament on the scabbards of some Landsknecht daggers (see for example A762).

    German (probably Augsburg), about 1600.

    Provenance: Couvreur, 29 rue le Peletier, Paris (Septre argent époque du 16e Siècle, 450 fr.; reciepted bill, 18 August, 1868); Comte de Nieuwerkerke.
    There is a silver 'sceptre' of this type, dated 1622, in the Nordiska Museum at Stockholm, which was part of the insignia of the tailors' guild. It is possible that A991 belonged to a German university, where pairs of sceptres of this type are carried in academic processions (information from Dr. G. Berg). If this sceptre belonged to a German university it must have been a Catholic one since the decoration contains figures of Saints.