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Luxury and PowerThe Material World of the Stuart Diplomat, 1660-1714$
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Helen Jacobsen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693757

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693757.001.0001

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Equipping the Royal Representative

Equipping the Royal Representative

(p.10) (p.11) 1 Equipping the Royal Representative
Luxury and Power

Helen Jacobsen

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the practical aspects of sending an ambassador abroad. It details their diplomatic pay and expenses, and the material objects with which they were furnished in their role as the king’s representative. These comprised large quantities of silver plate from the Jewel House and a chair of state and canopy from the Great Wardrobe; diplomats were also provided with allowances for commissioning the monarch’s portrait and gala coaches for their formal entry. During the fifty years after 1660 a notable evolution occurred in which diplomats played a greater personal role in the fashioning of their royal perquisites, and during which the dictates of elite fashion affected the way they looked and the goldsmiths, joiners, and craftsmen who were employed. By 1714 an ambassador’s official environment had become as much a reflection of his own tastes as those of diplomatic precedence.

Keywords:   diplomatic pay, plate, silver, Jewel House, Great Wardrobe, chair of state, monarch’s portrait, gala coaches, formal entry, royal perquisites, fashion, goldsmiths, joiners, craftsmen

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