Royal Armouries

Accoutrements of the effigy of William III

Images

monochrome photo of a pair of prop pistols and embroidered holsters

Dummy pistols and pistol holsters for the figure of William III in the Line of Kings. (XVI.1 - 4)

  • monochrome photo of a pair of prop pistols and embroidered holsters

    Dummy pistols and pistol holsters for the figure of William III in the Line of Kings. (XVI.1 - 4)

  • colour photo of a carved wooden head of William III

    Carved wooden head of William III probably by Nicholas Alcock. English, 1702 (XVII.45)

  • Holsters

    Holsters. English, 1702 (XVI.1& 2)

  • Saddle cloths XVI.1a and b

    Green velvet saddle cloth in two pieces, originally embroidered with the crowned royal cipher. English, 1702 (XVI.1a and b)

Accoutrements of the effigy of William III

Description

A figure of William III joined the Line of Kings in 1702 and in Newbery and Carnan’s Guide of 1768 he still merited the epithet ‘late’. Resplendent in ‘Edward the Black Prince’s armour as worn at Cressy’ – a mere 239 years adrift from the actual date of the armour which was 1585 – he was however equipped with 18th century accoutrements.

These consisted of a pair of leather holsters covered with green velvet, a pair of dummy pistols and green velvet saddle cloths. The guidebooks specifically note the velvet horse furniture embroidered with silver.

Mounted on a sorrel horse and carrying a flaming bladed sword William was one of the victims of Meyrick’s re-organisation. From 1827 the last monarch in the display was his father-in-law James II.

Pair of Holsters

Detail Text: Leather bucket pistol holsters, with elongated metal tip and green velvet covers. The brass tip has three equally spaced, raised, transverse moulded bands and a decorative indented edge. The green velvet covers are made in two parts and embroidered with silver thread and an appliqué silver scrolling border. These holsters would originally have fitted on either side of his saddle
Object Provenance: English, 1702
Object Number: XVI.1& 2

Dummy pistols

Detail Text: William III would have looked very foolish with holsters but no pistols, but as this was for display only, he was equipped with dummy pistols, their firing mechanism and barrel being omitted. Some attention was paid to detail – their gilt brass butt caps bear the appropriate crowned monogram. While they are in effect only stocks, the area around the lock-plate has been shaped and overall they have a walnut finish. Once in the holster, butt cap uppermost and in the gloom they looked quite the part.
Object Provenance: English, 1702
Object Number: XVI.3 & 4

Saddle cloths

Detail Text: Green velvet saddle cloth in two pieces, originally embroidered with the crowned royal cipher. One piece has lost the cipher, and it is incomplete on the other.
Object Provenance: English, 1702
Object Number: XVI.1A & B

Related Objects

William III in the Line of Kings Click on the title link above to find out more.

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Line of Kings