Monday, March 26, 2012

Artifact Monday: The Phoenix Jewel



I thought that since this weekend marked the anniversary of Elizabeth I's death, I would focus on an item related to her. Here we see what is known as "The Phoenix Jewel." It is currently held at the British Museum. Here is an excerpt from the items catalog entry:
"Elizabeth is generally portrayed in an idealized manner: her portraits in the later years of her long reign show no sign of ageing. This magnificent jewel is a unique survival; no matching example is known. The portrait of the Queen is similar to that in a miniature by Nicholas Hilliard (around 1537-1619) dated to 1572. The phoenix rising from the flames is a well-known symbol of renewal, while the entwined red and white roses symbolize the consolidation of England under Tudor rule." 
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