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The Crown Jewels (Collector's Edition)

Anna Keay

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A special, collectors' edition of the official history of the most famous jewelry collection in the world

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The Crown Jewels tells the history of the most spectacular and complete collection of royal regalia in the world. The priceless objects now in the Tower of London were created to be the embodiment of sovereignty, and their story is that of the English monarchy itself – from the 12th-century spoon used for the anointing at the coronation to the platinum crown created for Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 1937, set with the Koh-i-nûr diamond.

Published in association with the Royal Collection and Historic Royal Palaces, the book features specially commissioned photography, including many detailed shots, allowing individual pieces, the famous gems and carefully selected groups of objects to be viewed as never before.

Based on original research and written by an expert in English court history, the book tells the story of the development of the collection from the medieval period onwards.

This special edition of The Crown Jewels consists of a specially bound copy of Anna Keay's book together with a faithful reproduction of Joseph Robins's panoramic representation of Queen Victoria's Coronation Procession in Westminister Abbey on 28 June 1838. The two items are presented together in an elegant case.

The fold-out panorama, which is 4 inches high by 10 feet long, shows the young Queen and well-known figures of the time, many carrying pieces of the regalia. The original copy, which is held in the British Library at Windsor Castle, would have been as coveted in the days before photography as it will be today, reproduced for the first time in over 170 years.

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'For anyone with an interest in the jeweler’s craft, historic gemstones, the British monarchy and British history'
Period Homes & Interiors

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Edition Type: Special edition

Size: 32.0 x 27.0 cm

Extent: 192 pp

Illustrations: 296

Publication date: 10 October 2011

ISBN: 9780500516034

Contents List

1. Origins • 2. Christianity and Kingship • 3. The Age of Magnificence • 4. Meltdown • 5. Monarchy Remade • 6. The Splendour of the Table • 7. Crowns for Queens • 8. Fathers and Sons • 9. Economy and Empire • 10. The New Ceremonialism • 11. The Modern Age • The Crown Jewels in the Tower of London: A Complete Inventory

About the Author

Anna Keay is Curatorial Director of English Heritage, and was formerly Assistant Curator of Historic Royal Palaces. She has provided historical commentary for broadcasts on royal events such as HM The Queen’s Golden Jubilee and the State Opening of Parliament.