Royal portraits and dazzling tiaras go on display at Sotheby’s in London this weekend as part of celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.
The auction house is holding a month-long programme of events, exhibitions and auctions to mark the occasion. Four days of official celebrations for the historic occasion begin on June 2.
At Sotheby’s, artworks including the Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I, commemorating the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588, and Andy Warhol’s 1985 painting of Elizabeth II, will be on show alongside depictions of other female monarchs such as Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Victoria.
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“We’ve managed to gather portraits from private collections and a public collection of the seven queens regnant,” Francis Christie, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s UK and Ireland, told Reuters.
“The amazing thing about seeing all these queens together in one room is not only do you see a sort of brief art history lesson from Queen Elizabeth I up to Queen Elizabeth II and how obviously artistic style has changed. But you also see the path in how a monarch’s image of themselves has changed.”
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Visitors will also be able to view books and manuscripts such as the death warrant of the 7th Earl of Northumberland, signed by Elizabeth I and sealed with her privy seal. Also on display is a finely bound coronation Bible for Elizabeth II, one of 25 Bibles used at the June 2 1953 ceremony to mark her ascension to the throne.
Nearby more than 40 tiaras are on show in a separate exhibition, including the Spencer Tiara worn by the late Princess Diana on her wedding day.
Others include an 1830s diamond tiara designed as a wreath of diamond-set leaves in a nod to ancient Roman designs as well as a 20th century turquoise cabochon and diamond tiara by Van Cleef & Arpels.