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Jewelry of the Ancients

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402                      JEWELRY OF THE ANCIENTS.
Frankish style. It is octagonal, formed by eight plaques of gold with round tops, which thus make a scalloped border to its upper part. Each alternate plaque bears the figure of a saint in enamel. The front plaque is set with largo stones in cabochon (Sapphires?), and others cut square after the fashion of table-diamonds. Above all rises a Greek cross, also set with large stones : gems of less importance are also interspersed upon the other plaques. From the cross springs an arch like a flying buttress, which gives stability to the entire fabric. Frederic Barbarossa, in the year 1166, canonized Charlemagne, and took advantage of the occasion, like a true Teuton, to despoil his sepulchre of the crown, besides the enormous mass of treasure there deposited, the golden throne, the two shields of gold, &c. Since that time it was used at the coronation of the succeeding German emperors, and the Elector Palatine had the custody of it ex officio. The Austrian Francis, as the last in the Imperial series, having possession of the crown took care to retain it, and it now rests in the Imperial Library of Vienna, a mere monument of antiquity.
This memorial of the first establishment of Hungarian nationality has ever been regarded with superstitious veneration by every true Magyar, and authenticated every coronation of the kings of that country until the shameful overthrow of its liberties and consti­tution in our own times. It is in truth a most venerable relic of the regular Byzantine art ; and is formed by a broad flat band of fine gold, whence springs an arch., supporting a cross. It was sent in the year 1072 by the Emperor Michael Ducas to Geisa. the first Duke of Hungary, or, as he is strangely styled in the enamel portrait of him upon a plaque rising above the top of the circlet. " Geabitras, king of the Turks." Next to this comes the portrait of Constantino l'orphyrogenitus, then one of Ducas himself; the fourth and largest enamel represents the Saviour enthroned, exactly as he figures upon the bezants of that period. These four portraits are set at the springing of the arches which close the top of the crown : on the front of the band itself are placed four smaller enamels of the angels Michael and Gabriel, St. George and St. Demetrius.
Over the medallion of Christ is a largo heart-shaped Amethyst, below it an enormous rough Sapphire ; four more large Sapphires
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King. Natural History of Precious Stones.