Treasure of the Louvre: the golden scepter of Charles V

Treasure of the Louvre: the golden scepter of Charles V



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Wise Charles

The king of France from the Valois dynasty was incredibly smart and insightful, which is why his contemporaries called him the Wise. He was able to make up for the losses that occurred due to the rule of his predecessors, and return the territories occupied by the enemies. Thanks to the actions of Charles V, the first stage of the Hundred Years War was successfully completed and power over France was restored.

Charles V spent money carefully, avoiding unnecessary spending and controlling all the expenses, yet he patronized the arts and educational activities, and also strove for self-education.


The king’s attribute

The exact year of manufacture of the gold scepter is not known, but experts presume it was created in the 1370s. The coronation of Charles V took place in 1364, and subsequently, in 1380, the king bequeathed all the royal outfits and unique treasures to his son Charles VI. The list of jewels also included a luxurious scepter, which was then kept in the Basilica of Saint-Denis.

The royal scepter is made of the precious metal. The jewelers of the French royal court were renowned for their sublime craftsmanship, so the scepter is deservedly considered a masterpiece of the 14th century. Fortunately, the insignia of royal power has been preserved in its original form.


In the photo: on the top of the 60-centimeter golden scepter, Charlemagne (Charles the Great), the founder of the dynasty, is depicted seated on the royal throne, which emphasizes the legitimacy of the monarch’s power.


The pommel (bulb) of the scepter is made in the form of a sphere and decorated with crimson spinels, white pearls and diamonds, as well as blue sapphires. Jewelers touched upon important themes — “Saint James urges the emperor to liberate Spain”, “The miracle of the flowering lances” and “Saint James intervenes to save the emperor’s soul from the demon” — and decorated the bulb with three embossed carvings.


In the photo: the pommel of the scepter of Charles V.


Since December 5, 1793, the scepter of Charles V is stored in the famous Louvre Museum (Paris, France).


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