Object name


Date made

Circa 1902

Place made


Circa 1902 embroidered crest of Edward VII, referring to him as both King of the United Kingdom and Emperor of India.

Content description

An embroidered crest of Edward VII with Latin inscriptions referring to him as both King of the United Kingdom and Emperor of India. At the top of the panel is an embroidered inscription reading, 'Edwardus VII dei gra britt omn: rex: fin def: ind: imp' which in full would read, 'Edwardus VII Dei Gratia Britanniae Omniae Rex Fidei Defensor Indiae Imperator'. This translates to 'Edward the Seventh, by the Grace of God, King of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India'.

The panel's background is embroidered in split stitch using red and blue silk thread. The motifs are rendered in goldwork. The lettering is done in cutwork over padding. Large stretches of goldwork are completed using bricking and turning metal thread couching. The top two motifs both have the blue garter embroidered in silk with the motto of the Order of the Garter, which reads, 'honi soit qui mal y pense' (translating to 'Shame on him who thinks evil of it') done in gold purl cutwork. The viewer's left hand motif is the cross of St George, the red cross embroidered in red silk thread on a background of couched silver passing thread outlined in silver pearl purl. The right hand motif is the Tudor rose. The outer petals are worked in red silk thread outlined with gold pearl purl with an outer edging of raised gold purl. The inner petals are silver purl outlined in silver pearl purl. The centre of the rose is done with gold purl chips. Both motifs are surrounded by a sunburst pattern worked in cutwork in bright and rough gold purl. In the centre, between the motifs, is a lion worked in couched gold passing thread over padding outlined in gold pearl purl. Its teeth are silver purl.

At the centre of the crest is the coat of arms of King Edward VII. The coat of arms has the lion which is padded and worked in couched gold passing thread outlined in pearl purl. The body of the unicorn is also padded and worked in couched silver passing thread outlined in silver pearl purl. Its mane is couched gold passing thread outlined in gold pearl purl and the horn is gold purl. The gold chain around the unicorn is worked in gold twist. Flanking the lion and unicorn are the initials 'ERI', standing for 'Edwardus Rex Imperator'. These initials are worked in couched purl and bordered in pearl purl.

The main crown is worked in gold thread in a combination of couched passing thread, purl and pearl purl. The gems are worked in blue, red and green silk split stitch. The garter is worked in blue silk with gold lettering in purl. Only half of the motto is visible behind the crown ('honi soit qui mal y pense'). The motif has four corners: top left and bottom right are three rampaging lions worked on a red split stitched ground. The lions are worked in couched gold passing and outlined in gold pearl purl. Bottom left is a harp on a blue split stitch silk ground. The harp is worked in gold purl cutwork over padding with a pearl purl outline. The strings of the harp are pearl purl. The upper right corner has a couched passing background worked in gold with a rampant lion worked over it in red silk split stitch. The lion is framed by a double row of chain stitch. Below the crest a blue silk split stitched ribbon edged with a double row of pearl purl has the motto 'dieu et mon droit' ('God and my right'). The words are worked in gold purl cutwork over padding.

Across the bottom of the piece is a final blue garter with a Tudor rose at its centre. The rose has a chipped centre with the inner petals worked in silver and the outer petals worked in gold purl cutwork over padding and pearl purl edging. Six sprays of leaves are worked out from the centre on the garter. Each spray contains two leaves worked in bright and rough purl cutwork and edged with pearl purl. The third leaf in each spray is an oak leaf with outlines in pearl purl surrounding wire check chipping. There is a gold and silver cutwork acorn on each oak leaf.

The entire piece is bordered with evenly spaced cutwork circles with pearl purl edges on a red silk split stitched ground. There is also an outer border of gold braid visible at the bottom edge behind the wooden frame. This crest was embroidered in approximately 1902, the year of Edward VII's coronation. It was made by the Royal School of Needlework, at that time known as the Royal School of Art Needlework. Because the object is framed and completely covered in embroidery, it is difficult to ascertain exactly what type of fabric the crest is embroidered upon, though it is likely to be silk.


width: 50.5cm
height: 62cm





Catalogue number


Other numbers

RSN 90
© Royal School of Needlework