A George III City of London Coat of Arms, 1770
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43cm (17in) 47.5cm (18.7in)
Polychromed carved wood. An eighteenth century rendering of Corporation of London's anciently recorded armorial achievement, comprising shield bearing the red cross of England and St. George with an red upright sword in the first quarter representing the martyrdom of St. Paul, but also said by some to represent the weapon used by Lord Mayor William Walworth to slaughter the Peasants’ Revolt leader Wat Tyler in 1381. The dragon supporters and crest of a dragon’s wing charged with the cross of St George date to the 17th century. In later renderings of the City of London arms the crest sits upon a peer’s helm but in the case of the present example it rests on the Muscovy Hat as worn by the City Swordbearer during the Stuart and Georgian periods: a notable example designed by the architect George Dance (1788) is seen carved above the main southern entrance to Guildhall. The Muscovy Hat is associated with the City’s longstanding trading relations with the Baltic. The motto is ‘Domine dirige nos’ (Lord, guide us).