The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
This object is currently being catalogued
  • Collar
  • This object is currently being catalogued
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Gorcum, Netherlands
  • late 15th century (collar)
    1499 - 1826 (shields)
  • Silver, gold and enamel, engraved, gilded and enamelled
  • Diameter: 50.8 cm
    Diameter: 34 cm, chain without shields
  • Mark: axe Dutch mark
    Inscription
  • W32
  • Smoking Room
Commentary
History
  • The civic guards, like guilds, were important social institutions in the Netherlands. They often had elaborate rituals and celebrations at which the masters wore badges or collars. This spectacular collar belonged to the Guild of Saint George in Gorcum (Gorinchem), an important centre of silversmithing. Each year an archery competition would be held by the Guild, after which this collar was worn by the winner, the ‘Guild King’ or constable, on official occasions. There are thirty shields on the chain with the names and coats of arms of constables dating from 1499 to 1826. The parrots within the chain refer to the fact that popinjays or stuffed birds were traditionally used as targets for the competitions.