1902 Edward VII Coronation by Byam Shaw Sword Holders


A very rare and fine lithograph print of the 3 Officials carrying the three swords that are used during the procession into the Abbey at the 1902 Coronation service of King Edward VII.

They are the Sword of Spiritual Justice, the Sword of Temporal Justice and the Sword of Mercy. The picture is by the renowned artist Byam Shaw, better known for his illustrations for books during the Art Nouveau period. Unfortunately, unlike the swords, we don’t know the names of the bearers. All three are dressed in matching regalia and Grand Master awards and have been wonderfully captured in the sketch by Byam Shaw. The swords were originally made for Charles I coronation and are among the few items of the crown jewels that survived and were not melted down by Oliver Cromwell. The first two swords symbolize the Sovereign’s relationship with the church and the state. The third sword, known as Edward the Confessor’s Sword, has a blade that is broken and squared. This sword represents the quality of mercy and according to legend the tip was broken off by an angel to prevent a wrongful killing. The picture is quite large and has been produced by McCorquodale & Co. Ltd, of London S.E.. We can find no other example of this image, either in collections or for sale. The print has been tastefully mounted, framed and glazed. It is one of 5 different pictures of the Coronation that we have listed for sale.

John Byam Liston Shaw (1872-1919), better known as Byam Shaw, was a British painter, illustrator, designer and teacher. Throughout his career Byam Shaw worked competently in a wide variety of media including oils, watercolour, pastels, pen and ink and deployed techniques such as dyeing and gilding. He was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and took many of his subjects from the poems of Rossetti. He exhibited frequently at Dowdeswell's gallery in New Bond Street, where he had at least five solo exhibitions between 1896 and 1916.

Size image: 48 x 34.5 cm (18 7/8 x 13 5/8 inches)
Size frame: 66.5 x 53 x 1.5 cm (26 ¼ x 20 7/8 x 5/8 inches)
Weight: 2710 g