Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Anointing Objects

The ceremony of anointing at the coronation of George VI in 1937. The Ampulla is held by the Dean of Westminster while the Archbishop of Canterbury anoints the King on hands, breast and head.
The Ampulla and Coronation Spoon After the procession into the Abbey the coronation ceremony begins with the Recognition, where the Sovereign is presented to the congregation who signify their acceptance of him or her by their acclamation. Then follows the administration of the oath in which the Sovereign swears to govern his or her people according to the laws of the land, and to defend and preserve the Church. The Sovereign is then seated in the Chair of State and the Archbishop of Canterbury begins the service of Holy Communion. He proceeds as far as the Creed, when the service is interrupted for the ceremony of anointing. The Sovereign is divested of the crimson robes and leaves the Chair of State to sit in St Edward's Chair (the Coronation Chair) underneath a canopy held by four Knights of the Garter. Holy oil is poured from the Ampulla into the Coronation Spoon and the Archbishop anoints the Sovereign on hands, breast and head.

The Ampulla, 1661. The gold Ampulla was supplied by Sir Robert 'liner for the coronation of Charles 11 in 1661. It is 8.1" (20.7cm) in height and weighs 21.2oz (0.66kg). The gold Ampulla, which is in the form of an eagle, was supplied for the coronation of Charles 11 in 1661. Evidence suggests that the old ampulla destroyed by Cromwell in 1649 had been small enough to wear as a pendant. The head of the Ampulla screws onto the body and there is a small hole in the beak through which the oil is poured.

The silver-gilt Coronation Spoon is the oldest piece of the regalia. It was most probably made for Henry II or Richard I and is therefore the only piece of royal goldsmiths work to survive from the 12th century. The spoon was sold during the Commonwealth to Clement Kynnersley, a Yeoman of the Removing Wardrobe to Charles I, who returned it to Charles II on the Restoration. Apart from its re-gilding and the addition of four small pearls ordered for the coronation of Charles II, and later replaced for the coronation of William and May, it is virtually in its original state.

The Coronation Spoon, 12th century. George IV Much admired the Coronation Spoon and had two copies made out set with precious stones.

Writer-Kenneth Mears



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