Heart-shaped jet pendant amulet commemorating the execution of King Charles I, England, 1649-1800

Made:
1649-1800 in England
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Heart-shaped jet pendant amulet commemorating execution of King Charles I, with king's head engraved on obverse and inscription with death's head on reverse, English, 1649-1800

Made of jet with a small hole for suspending on a chain, this heart-shaped pendant commemorates the death of King Charles I. Jewellery such as this was worn as forms of memento mori. These are objects which draw attention to the brief nature of life and the fact death comes to us all, regardless of wealth or social status. It is engraved on the front with an image of the King. His execution dates surrounding a skull are on the reverse.

The King’s misuse of power and his handling of political and religious conflicts led England into Civil War during the 1640s. The King was imprisoned in Hampton Court Palace after his Royalist army was defeated. He escaped to the Isle of Wight hoping to take a boat to France, but was recaptured. King Charles I was executed for high treason on 30 January 1649 at Whitehall.

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Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A69183
Materials:
jet, silver
type:
pendant - jewelry
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • costume
  • jewellery

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