grace. elegance. class.

I will own I feel so partial to my Dear little Gee, that I think I never shall love another so well.

Margaret Georgiana Spencer, Countess Spencer
The Sacred Feathercrown of Moctezuma II
The Kopilli Ketzalli is the claimed crown of Moctezuma, the ninth tlahtoani (emperor) of Tenochtitlan. It consists of intricately placed tail feathers of the Resplendent Quetzal bird. It is 116 cm (46 in.) high and 175 cm (69 in.) across and has the form of concentric layers of different colored feathers arranged in a semicircle. Leather straps attach the crown to the head of the wearer.
Although attributed to Moctezuma and the Spanish conquest, the provenance of the piece remains unattested, as it does not match codex illustrations of the headdress of Aztec nobility. The legend of the headdress diverges along two dramatically different lines. Stories claim it was either among the so-called “gifts of Moctezuma to Cortés” or it was taken by the Spaniards, after which Cortés sent it to his sovereign Charles I of Spain.
There is on going archeological debate that the crown also consisted of a helmet of precious jewels and pure gold. After the slaying of Moctezuma during the Spanish invasion, the crown was alleged to have been confiscated by the Spaniards. The gold helmet was melted down into bars and the feathered head piece was sent to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain. Charles V was also the Archduke of Austria where the Hapsburg dynasty had their residence. After receiving the headdress, Charles supposedly passed it on to relatives in Austria, around 1524. 
It currently rests in the Museum of Ethnology, Vienna, and is a source of dispute between Austria and Mexico, as no similar pieces remain in Mexico. For decades the descendants of the Aztecs in Mexico have been demanding for the return of the holy crown of feathers, which from their view was stolen during the conquest of Mexico and brought back to Europe unlawfully.
Photo credit: The History Blog

The Sacred Feathercrown of Moctezuma II

The Kopilli Ketzalli is the claimed crown of Moctezuma, the ninth tlahtoani (emperor) of Tenochtitlan. It consists of intricately placed tail feathers of the Resplendent Quetzal bird. It is 116 cm (46 in.) high and 175 cm (69 in.) across and has the form of concentric layers of different colored feathers arranged in a semicircle. Leather straps attach the crown to the head of the wearer.

Although attributed to Moctezuma and the Spanish conquest, the provenance of the piece remains unattested, as it does not match codex illustrations of the headdress of Aztec nobility. The legend of the headdress diverges along two dramatically different lines. Stories claim it was either among the so-called “gifts of Moctezuma to Cortés” or it was taken by the Spaniards, after which Cortés sent it to his sovereign Charles I of Spain.

There is on going archeological debate that the crown also consisted of a helmet of precious jewels and pure gold. After the slaying of Moctezuma during the Spanish invasion, the crown was alleged to have been confiscated by the Spaniards. The gold helmet was melted down into bars and the feathered head piece was sent to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain. Charles V was also the Archduke of Austria where the Hapsburg dynasty had their residence. After receiving the headdress, Charles supposedly passed it on to relatives in Austria, around 1524. 

It currently rests in the Museum of Ethnology, Vienna, and is a source of dispute between Austria and Mexico, as no similar pieces remain in Mexico. For decades the descendants of the Aztecs in Mexico have been demanding for the return of the holy crown of feathers, which from their view was stolen during the conquest of Mexico and brought back to Europe unlawfully.

Photo credit: The History Blog

(Source: culture-and-development.info)

The language of the ancient Kingdom of Tilantongo

The Codex Zouche-Nuttall, Mixtec writing, Late Postclassic period, from Mexico.

It is one of three codices that record the genealogies, alliances and conquests of several 11th- and 12th-century rulers of a small Mixtec city-state in highland Oaxaca, the Tilantongo kingdom, especially under the leadership of the warrior Lord Eight Deer Jaguar Claw (who died early twelfth century at the age of fifty-two).

Artifact statement from the the British Museum:

This is one of a small number of known Mexican codices (screenfold manuscript books) dating to pre-Hispanic times. It is made of deer skin and comprises 47 leaves. The Codex contains two narratives: one side of the document relates the history of important centres in the Mixtec region, while the other, starting at the opposite end, records the genealogy, marriages and political and military feats of the Mixtec ruler, Eight Deer Jaguar-Claw. This ruler is depicted at top centre, next to his calendric name (8 circles and a deer’s head).

Very few Mesoamerican pictorial documents have survived destruction and it is not clear how the Codex Zouche-Nuttall reached Europe. In 1859 it turned up in a Dominican monastery in Florence. Years later, Sir Robert Curzon, 14th Baron Zouche (1810-73), loaned it to The British Museum. His books and manuscripts were inherited by his sister, who donated the Codex to the Museum in 1917. The Codex was first published by Zelia Nuttall in 1902.

Courtesy of & currently located at the British Museum, London.

Vintage Royal Fashion: Edwardian style dresses of Queen Maud of Norway (formerly Princess Maud of Wales, youngest daughter of King Edward VII of United Kingdom and Queen Alexandra), wife of King Haakon VII of Norway (1869-1938).

Vintage Royal Fashion: Dresses of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Sir Norman Hartnell

Arms of the four traditional provinces of Ireland
The four traditional provinces of Ireland (Munster, Leinster, Connacht and Ulster) are popularly displayed quartered as the arms of Ireland. The Four Provinces Flag and variants of it are used by various all-Ireland sports teams and cultural organisations.The order in which the arms appear varies.

Arms of the four traditional provinces of Ireland

The four traditional provinces of Ireland (Munster, Leinster, Connacht and Ulster) are popularly displayed quartered as the arms of Ireland. The Four Provinces Flag and variants of it are used by various all-Ireland sports teams and cultural organisations.The order in which the arms appear varies.

Royal Regalia: The official royal dress code

Traditionally the linings of medieval coronation cloaks and some other garments, usually reserved to use by high-ranking peers and royalty, were made by sewing many ermine furs together to produce a luxurious white fur with patterns of hanging black-tipped tails.

Her Highness Princess Marie Louise is pictured at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II with a slightly different cloak. As a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, she was the last member of the royal family to be styled ‘Her Highness’ and as such her crimson robe was different and not lined with the traditional ermine but a simple crimson silk velvet.

In practice, rows of sealskin spots on the cape designate the peer’s rank; dukes use four rows, marquesses three and a half, earls three, viscounts two and a half, and barons and lords of Parliament two.

Royal dukes use six rows of ermine, ermine on the front of the cape and long trains borne by pages.

Peeresses’ ranks are designated not by sealskin spots, but by the length of their trains and the width of the ermine edging on the same.

In the case of Princess Marie Louise, although a member of the royal family, her position was considered as a distant-cousin and too far removed to warrant the traditional regalia. Her position in the family was not that of a Princess of the United Kingdom but a Princess of Schleswig-Holstein, which she no longer retained when the family removed their German titles after the royal proclamation by George V.

As such, she was no longer entitled to the same robe and wore a simple crimson silk velvet train instead.