A Grand Jubilee Brooch of King George III, 1810-14
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50mm x 32mm
Obverse: a white glass cameo portrait bust of George III (reigned 1760-1820) in Windsor uniform and wearing the Garter Star, on a royal blue enamelled guilloché ground, all under glass, the whole set with a navette shaped border of cushion cut paste brilliants set in silver. The reverse with rose gold surround and glazed locket panel. Pin fitting with pendant loops.
George III is often credited as the first British monarch to mark a Golden Jubilee (50 years), a tradition followed by Queen Victoria and Elizabeth II, - few early British monarchs had reigns of more than fifty years. The Golden Jubilee of George III, also known as the Grand National Jubilee, on 25 October 1809, marked 49 years of King George III's accession to the British throne, and his entrance into the 50th year of his reign. It was the first of such festivities to be celebrated in a significant way in the United Kingdom and in the nascent colonies. The King and other members of the Royal Family attended a private service in Windsor and a grand fete and firework display at Frogmore. In London the Lord Mayor and Corporation processed to St Paul's Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving before holding a dinner at the Mansion House. The present brooch may have graced any one of these events.
The ruling House of Hanover further celebrated a Grand Jubilee in 1814 decreeing a public holiday and celebration in the United Kingdom held on 1 August. The event marked the 100th anniversary of the accession of George I, the first king of the House of Hanover, the 16th anniversary of Horatio Nelson's victory at the Battle of the Nile and the recent signing of the Treaty of Paris, bringing an end (briefly) to the Napoleonic Wars. Celebrations centred on the Royal Parks in London. At St James's Park a new Chinese-style bridge (with pagoda) and a Temple of Concorde were built and a fireworks display was held. In Hyde Park a naval re-enactment took place on The Serpentine and in Green Park a naval arch and royal booth were constructed. The event was billed as "the largest fair, for every kind of amusement, that was ever known in this or any other country" and government employees were granted a public holiday.