But Henry was also known to lavishly bestow large jewels on his wives - at least when they enjoyed his good-will! For example, Henry VIII gave Anne Boleyn a jewel that coat 15.000 crowns.
It was custom for the King to have jewels sewn into his clothes as well as using gold or silver thread. When an inventory was drawn up for the belongings of Henry VIII in 1547 it showed that the King owned no less than 3690 precious gemstones.
|Replica of the Tudor crown|
The crown first appeared on an inventory from 1521. And of course, it was extravagantly executed. The gold alone weighed 3,4 kilos! To embellish the crown 58 rubies, 28 diamonds, 19 sapphires, 2 emeralds and 168 pearls were used. A recently discovered mural of Henry VIII shows the King wearing the Tudor crown. The crown was passed on to the King's children and was used for the coronations of Edward VI, Mary I, Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I. It appeared that Henry VIII actually had the crowned remodelled when he was created Head of the Church of England - he replaced three small kings with three equally small figures of Jesus Christ.
Since no original jewels survive we have to look to other methods to know of the King's jewels looked. There is probably no better option than that of looking at the many portraits of the King in which he wears some of his vast collection. So, these are some of the jewels that appear in portraits of Henry VIII:
| Gold necklace with gold|
pendant and onyx stone -
portrait of Hans Holbein
|Another portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger - the King is|
wearing a chain of golden pendants with either rubies or onyxes
linked with four lines of pearls
|The upper necklace is of a rather thick gold chain and centres|
around an onyx. The chain beneath it is rather strange compared
to the normal style at the time. It would seem to consist of gold, rubies,
small onyxes and a single, large pearl.
|Henry wore this on a portrait from the time when he was|
married to Catherine of Aragon. The overall expression is more cheerful
than some of the more sombre ensembles.
|This brooch was pinned on a black hat|
|This brooch is from a portrait of an|
ageing Henry VIII. It looks like a lot of
metal-work has gone into decorating the gold.
|These ouches or brooches were pinned|
on the waistcoat