This will be a story about men’s jewelry of the Stuart dynasty kings.
During the Tudor period, a huge royal collection of jewelry was collected. Only the jewelry of the last ruler of the Stuart family – Queen Elizabeth I – makes you dizzy (but that’s another story)!
The queen had no direct heirs, and after death all this passed to a new dynasty of rulers – the Stuarts.
In 1603, the son of Mary Stuart, the Scottish king James VI (in English numbering I), became the heir.
Ascending to the English throne, Jacob acquires several magnificent jewelry, including the 53-carat Sancy diamond. The diamond was purchased in 1604 and designed as a pendant to the Mirror of Great Britain, symbolizing the unification of England and Scotland.
Note that the diamonds were depicted as black or dark gray, reflecting the dark glow of the flat-cut stone.
Another interesting piece of jewelry was the “Feather” inlaid with 26 large diamonds.
He wore both jewelry on his hat.
Jacob’s heir, Charles I at the beginning of his reign also liked to buy jewelry, and new interesting ones in exchange for inherited “old-fashioned” ones.
However, all this did not last long, with the advent of the civil war (1642-1651) there was no time for jewelry – they had to be urgently sold for the sake of weapons.
Although in 1642 Parliament issued a decree protecting the crown jewels, most of the royal family jewels were lost, including the Sancy diamond, which was pledged in Paris in 1647.
In the 16th century, earrings were more commonly worn by men than women.
In 1577 Raphael Holinshed wrote about the popularity of the practice among “passionate court men” and “connoisseurs of courage.”
The practice of ear piercing, which originated in Spain among European men, spread to the court of King Henry III of France, and then to England during the Elizabethan era, where such eminent persons as Robert Carr Earl of Somerset, William Shakespeare, Walter Raleigh and King Charles I of England wore earrings in the ear.
The execution of Charles I and the exile of his son Charles II gave rise to a large number of commemorative symbolic jewelry: from modest silver medallions to intricate reliquaries, which were secretly worn by passionate royalists until the Restoration.
After the Restoration, Charles II tried to return the jewelry sold during the republican period, but mostly in vain.
Most of the decorations are now available to us only on portraits of old paintings.