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religious/ritual equipment / collar

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Collar of the Order of the Garter; red enamelled gold roses within enamelled gold Garter borders, alternating with gold cord knots; twenty-five roses and twenty-five knots. The roses are applied separately in the centre of the garter roundels. The letters of the Garter motto are made of gold foil, laid into the enamel.


  • Date

    • 1628-1629
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 150 centimetres (approx)
  • Curator's comments

    In set with 1980,0201.2-4
    One of a set of Collar, Great George, Lesser George and Garter believed to have been made for William Compton, 1st Earl of Northampton, created KG 1628, installed 1629.
    See E. Ashmole, 'The Institution, Laws and Ceremonies of the Most Noble Order of the Garter', London 1672; William Bingham Compton, 'The History of the Comptons of Compton Wynyates', London 1930, p. 62; R. Marks and A. Payne (eds), 'British Heraldry from its origins to c. 1800', exhibition catalogue, British Museum 1978, cat.250, 87.
    The knots, garters and roses contain a number of variations indicating that some may be later replacements. For example, the knot to the left of the Great George is not a real knot: s the ropework is added at the centre at cut off flat at the back. Moving clockwise, the rose to the right of 12 o' clock may be later, as is no. 8; the garters vary in the colour of the blue enamel and in the use of four dots forming a cross between the words instead of two.

    Notes on meeting with Royal Collection, 19 May 2005 (B. McLeod and J. Rudoe):
    QUERY - Was this made for Northampton as new, or was it made from older pieces handed back to the Crown ?
    There are three garters, all alike, that are different from the others. They have larger lettering and the four cross dots. On the RC example which dates from the late 17th century, all garters are alike; the mottos are all in champleve enamel. The Northampton garter letters are not engraved, but made of gold foil let into the enamel.
    The knots are of of twisted wire, knotted, with shaped, not cast tassels, whereas the RC example has cast knots and tassels. The buckles have red enamel and carved relief scrolls, whereas the RC example has no enamel on the buckles with flat tabs.
    Roses formed of single petals with curved edge. RC roses have two layers of petals, in double lobed units.


  • Location

    On display: G46/dc11/p3

  • Exhibition history

    1996 4-12 Mar, USA, Malibu, J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa, BMDT Presentation

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Accepted by H M Treasury in lieu of Capital Transfer Tax following the death of the 6th Marquess of Northampton and allocated to the BM.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


COMPASS Image Caption: The Collar and 'Great George'


COMPASS Image Caption: The Collar and 'Great George'

Image description



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Object reference number: MCT14945

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