The Heneage ('Armada') Jewel by Unknown Artist

The front of this jewel is adorned with a profile portrait in gold of Queen Elizabeth I.


Gold enamel, rock crystal, diamond & ruby
7.1 x 5.2 x 1.1 cm
Acquired in:
Presented by:
Lord Wakefield through The Art Fund

The cover depicts the Ark of the English church on stormy waters which bears the motto 'Calm amidst the raging seas'. The inside of the cover bears a red rose and the complimentary inscription, 'Alas, that virtue inviolate, with so great honour decked, hath not eternal length of day'. This jewel was reputedly a gift from the Queen to Sir Thomas Heneage for his service during the time of the Armada and was among the greatest treasures in the Pierpont Morgan collection in New York. At auction, the Art Fund dramatically stepped in to reclaim it for Britain, paying the entire purchase price. When Viscount Wakefield learned of this he reimbursed the full amount and presented it to the Victoria and Albert Museum through the fund.


Sir Thomas Heaneage & heirs; Pierpont Morgan collection

Venue details

V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) Cromwell Road, London London SW7 2RL 020 7942 2000

Entry details

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Daily, 10am – 5.45pm (Fri until 10pm)