Skip Navigation

 Museum Explorer

Birds and beasts
in Europe

The Dunstable Swan Jewel

Height: 3.300 cm
Width: 3.500 cm (without chain)

M&ME 1966,7-3,1

The Dunstable Swan Jewel

From: France or England
Date: around AD 1400

An animal was sometimes used as the symbol of a powerful family or person in medieval times. The swan was a symbol of Henry IV of England who became king in 1399. This beautiful jewel is only 3cm high and is made from gold covered with white enamel, a material that is like glass but cannot be seen through.

The Swan Jewel may have belonged to a rich supporter of the king. Anyone who saw a person wearing such a jewel would know who that person supported. People today still wear symbols to show to others what team they support.