A late 17th century Royalist supporter’s pendant commemorating the death of King Charles I in 1649. The gilt metal pendant contains an enamel portrait after Van Dyck of the monarch with mournful demeanour, wearing a lace collar and the blue ribbon of the Garter, reserved on a duck-egg blue ground. The political conflict between the absolutism of Charles I and Parliament culminated in the execution of the king in 1649. The many who regarded this event as a crime expressed their sorrow by wearing jewels such as this in his memory both at the time and after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. The reverse of the pendant is inscribed with the initials CR surmounted by a crown and surrounded by a wreath symbolising martyrdom as well as victory, as the pendant is from the Restoration period when his son Charles II was restored to the throne. The pendant measures 1 and 1/4 inches by 3/4 of an inch. Well executed and immaculate.
Portrait of Charles 1st as a martyr, his earthly crown being lost for the celestial. In his final speech on the execution scaffold Charles declared, “I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown, where no disturbance can be.” Museum of London.