Part 2





The Realm

The Ruler

The State


The Royal Arms



Armed Forces



Back to Part 1

The Royal Arms


House of Vasa

Gustavus I


Regent of Sweden 1521-1523

King 1523-1560


Gustav Vasa was from 1521 self-recognised Protector of the Realm (Rikshövitsman), during the ongoing Swedish War of Liberation against King Christian II of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Of low standing, Gustav rose to lead the rebel movement following the Stockholm Bloodbath (7-9.11.1520), in which his father perished. Gustav's election as King on 6 June 1523 and his triumphant entry into Stockholm eleven days later meant the end of Medieval Sweden's elective monarchy and the Kalmar Union, and the birth of a hereditary monarchy under the House of Vasa and its successors.

From the point of view of heraldry this meant that the arms of the Danish personal union were abolished for Sweden and were replaced by new arms marshalling the arms of Sweden and Götaland, adding the arms of Vasa, imitating the arrangement of the arms of Charles VIII Bonde. Also, the arms were quartered by a cross, imitating the cross on the arms of the Danish kings but being Or instead of Argent.

Seal of Gustav I Vasa


Arms: ¼ Sweden and Gotland and a cross over all charged with the arms of Vasa

Crown: A royal crown.



On this seal the cross over all is not fimbriated, suggesting that it was all Or, the color documented by later representations. This is said to have been the origin of the Swedish flag with the yellow cross on a blue cloth.


NB. The arms of Götaland are: Azure, three bends wavy sinister and a lion rampant Or over all. It may be obvious that these arms are derived from the arms of the kings of Sweden from the House of Folkunge


Motto: ALL MAKT AV GUD (All Power is of God)


The arms of Vasa were, according to Johannes Messenius in his Theatrum Nobilitatis Suecance (1611)  a black fan or frond on a yellow background. On a 15th century Vasa seal this figure was on a crest between a pair of horns (fig.).

After his election in 1523 Gustav I changed these arms by making the field parted per bend Azure and Gules, a bend Argent and  charging it with the frond Or. The charge itself was called a vasa which is the swedish word for garb. Indeed the figure may readily be interpreted to be a garb and consequently the arms are “speaking arms’.  [1]


The royal arms of  Gustav I Vasa, 1560 ca.

Coll. Livrustkammaren inv. nr 10883 (83:13)

The personal arms of Gustav I Vasa, 1560 ca.

Coll. Livrustkammaren  inv nr.10884 (83:14)


Erik XIV



crowned 25.06.1561


Unlike his father, who had been satisfied with ruling an independent state, Eric tried to expand his influence in the Baltic region and in Estonia, making Sweden a great power. This expansionism resulted in a clash with his cousin, Frederick II of Denmark (1534-‘88). Most of Eric XIV's reign was then dominated by the Livonian War and the Scandinavian Seven Years' War against Denmark (1563-‘70), , during which he successfully repelled most Danish attempts at conquest, but was unable to keep his own acquisitions.

After his coronation in 1561 Erik ordered his arms to be embroidered on his mantle by Hubert Woldemarsson. They consist of a quartered shield in which the two lower quarters from the arms of his predecessor were replaced by the arms of Norway and Denmark. This was probably in retaliation to the fact that the Danish kings had maintained the arms with the three crowns of Sweden on their seals and in their arms.These arms could only be arms of pretence since the personal union of Kalmar had come to an end in 1523. It is said that some pressure was put upon Erik when in February 1563 Swedish messengers were sent to Hesse to negotiate Eric's marriage with Christine of Hesse, but were held back in Copenhagen. Erik however refused the Danish requests to remove the Norse and Danish symbols from his arms. This was the formal immediate cause for the Scandinavian Seven Years' War ending with the Treaty of Stettin. The dispute about the arms ended when king John III, the successor of Eric XIV, gave in. The kings of Denmark have maintained the three crowns as arms of pretence, calling them the arms of the Union  of  Kalmar, probably to appease Swedish annoyment, on their royal arms until the present day. [2]


Arms of Erik XIV, 1562 (?)

Embroidery on the royal coat of arms

 by Hubert Woldemarsson

Coll. Livrustkammaren , inv. nr.  31450 (06:6687)




The coat of arms of pretence used by Eric XIV of Sweden. Detail from a 16th century tapestry depicting King Sven. (Sveno Tapeten, skatkammaren Stockholm)

In: Böttiger, John: Svenska statens samling af väfda tapeter. Historik och beskrifvande förteckning. Vol. I: Tapetsam-lingarna och Tapetväfveriet under femtonhundratalet.

Stockholm, Iduns Tryckeri,1895.


The arms of Erik XIV were:

Arms: ¼: 1. Sweden; 2. Götaland; 3. Norway; 4. Denmark and a cross Or over all, charged with the arms of Vasa.

Crown: A royal crown of four hoops

Motto: GUD GIVER  ÅT VEM HAN VILL (God Gives to Whom He Wishes)


John III



Great Seal of John III, reverse. 1571

Æ 110 mm. Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm) Cat. nr. 3b


Arms: ¼ Sweden & Götland  and a cross over all charged with an escutcheon Vasa

Crown: A royal crown

Order: Of King John III (1569)

L.: magnum sigillum


Motto: GUD VÅR BESKIDDERE (God Our Protector)


Order of King John III  [3]


An Agnus Dei pending from a collar consisting of a medallion charged with a sitting figure, supported by two kneeling angels and five crowns of laurel each supported by a lion and a lizard, separated by sheafs of the arms of Vasa.



King of Poland 1587-1623

King of Sweden 1592-1599

Knight of the Fleece N° 298, 1600


Daler of  Sigismund, 1592-‘99


Arms: ¼: 1. Sweden; 2. Poland; 3. Götaland; 4. Lithuania. In nombril pioint the arms of Vasa.

Crown: A royal crown with five leaves and three hoops.

Motto: FÖR RÄTTEN OCH FOLKET (For Justice and the People)


The legend on the obverse continued on the reverse reads: SIGISMUNDVS DEI GRACIA SVECORVM / GOTORVM WANDALORVMQ Ɛt POLONIÆ REX.

In Poland the quarters of his arms were arranged different, the quarters for Poland on a shield quarterly.


Charles IX


Regent 1599-1604

King 1604-1611


Thaler with the arms of Charles IX


Arms: ¼ Sweden & Götland  and a cross over all charged with an escutcheon Vasa

Crown: A royal crown


Motto: GUD MIN TRÖST (God my Comfort)


Gustav II



Herald’s tabard, 1617-‘32

with the arms of Gustav II

Coll. Livrustkammaren inv. nr. 31056 (3339)


Arms: ¼ Sweden & Götland  and a cross over all charged with an escutcheon Vasa

Crown: A royal crown

Motto: MED GUD OCH SEGRANDE VAPEN (With God and Victorious Arms)






Arms: ¼ Sweden & Götland  and a cross over all charged with an escutcheon Vasa

Crown: A royal crown


Arms of Queen Christina, 1648 [4]

Arms: As before

Motto:VISHETEN ÄR RIKETS STÖD (Wisdom is the Support of the Realm)


House of the Palatinate

Charles X Gustav



By the kings of the House of the Palatinate the escutcheon Vasa was replaced by an escutcheon of the Palatinate being:

Arms: ¼: 1. Wittelsbach; 2. Jülich; 3. Kleve; 4. Berg. and in nombril point Palatinate of the Rhine


Embroidered arms of  CharlesX Gustav, 1660

Coll. Livrustkammaren. Inv. nr. 19367 (5630:3 a)


Arms: ¼ of Sweden and Götaland and a cross patée Or over all charged with the arms of the Palatinate (the quarters rearranged here).

Crown: A royal crown of five leaves and hoops

Motto: I GUD MITT ÖDE (In God my Destiny He shall fo It)


Charles XI



Coll Livrustkammaren


Arms: ¼ of Sweden and Götaland and a cross patée Or over all charged with the arms of the Palatinate.

Crown: A royal crown of five leaves and hoops

Motto: HERREN ÄR VORDEN MIN BESKYDDARE (The Lord has Become my Protector)


Charles XII




Coll Livrustkammaren

Arms: As before

Motto: MED GUDS HJÄLP (With the Help of God)


Ulrika Eleonora



No picture available


Motto: GUD MITT HOPP (My Hope is in God)


House of Hesse

Frederick I



The kings of the House of Hesse replaced the central escutcheon of Vasa by the arms of Hesse being :


Arms: 1/6: 1. Hersfeld; 2. Ziegenhain; 3. Katzenellnbogen; 4. Dietz; 5. Nidda; 6. Schaumburg. And in nombril point Hesse.


The cross separating the four quarters is always a cross patée since then continuing a tradition introduced by the House of the Palatinate.


Around the shield came the collar  and cross of the Order of  the Seraphim renewed by Frederick I on 28 April 1748.


Swedish Orders of Knighthood


An early Swedish order of knighthood was created by Gustav Vasa in 1522. It is the Order of the Sword which was given new statutes in 1748 and 1814.

Eric XIV is known to have bestowed an Order of the Redeemer (St. Salvatoris) at his coronation in 1561. Similarly, John III had bestowed the Order of Agnus Dei in 1569.

Charles IX bestowed the Royal Order of Jehova or Jehova Order at his coronation in 1606 - perhaps as Calvinist alternative or reaction to the Catholic devotion to the Name of Jesus implied in his brother’s coronation order.

Charles X Gustav’s Order of the Saviour took the form of a similar circular medallion bearing the letters IHS in diamonds surrounded by a border of diamonds in the center of a cross formed of four enameled Vasa sheaves and hanging from a pink ribbon worn around the neck, of which one example survives in the collections of the Royal Armory.

The Royal Order of the Seraphim (Kungliga Serafimerorden) is reputed to have been created  by King Magnus in 1260 or 1285. It existed for certain in 1336 and 1343 but nothing is heard of it any more until the end of the 17th century. Its cross and collar are represented by Erik Dahlberg in his atlas of Sweden from 1698.  Its jewel consisted of a medallion with the emblem of the Societas Jesu or the Jesuit Order being the cypher IHS (Iesus Hominem Salvator) with a cross above and the three nails of the Passion. The collar consisted of patriarchal crosses alternating with seraphim in the form of winged heads.



Christian theology places seraphs in the highest choir of the angelic hierarchy. They are the caretakers of God's throne, continuously singing "holy, holy, holy". Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in his Celestial Hierarchy (vii), drew upon the Book of Isaiah in fixing the fiery nature of seraphim in the medieval imagination. Seraphim in his view helped the Deity maintain perfect order and are not limited to chanting the trisagion.


The Royal Order of the Seraphim according to Erik Dahlberg.


The order was re-created or re-established by King Frederick I on 23 February 1748. At the same time the Order of the Polar Star was created.

At this occasion the jewel of the order became a Maltese cross its arms charged with patriarchal crosses and golden seraphim in between, charged with a medallion with the cypher IHS and a latin cross and the Nails of Passion between the three Swedish crowns on on blue field. The collar remained of the same patriarchal crosses and seraphim


All Kings of Sweden have been Grandmasters of the Order of Seraphim and the cross and collar of the Order have been around all their royal arms after 1748. Also the decorations can be found since then around the arms of the royal achievement and around the arms with the three crowns.



Arms of Frederick I as a knight of the Order of Seraphim.

In Riddarholmskirkan


Arms: ¼ of Sweden an Götaland and a cross patée Or over all charged with the arms of Hesse.

Crown: A royal crown

Orders:  Order of the Northern Star (1748) Order of the Sword (1522/1748) Order of the Seraphim (1748)

Motto: GUD MITT HOPP (My Hope is in God)


House of Holstein Gottorp




In the arms of kings of the House of Holstein-Gottorp the escutcheon of Hesse in the middle of the usual quartered shield was replaced by the arms of Holstein-Gottorp being:

Arms: ¼ 1. Norway; 2. Schleswig; 3. Holstein; 4. Stormarn; enté en point of Ditmarschen and in nombril point ¼ of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst.


From their royal arms no pictures are available because the kings from the House of Holstein-Gottorp seem to have preferred the use of the arms with the three crowns (the lesser- or arms of the council of the realm) above the use of their royal arms quarterly. However, these are a part of their royal achievement.


Motto: SALUS PUBLICA SALUS MEA (The Welfare of the State is my Welfare)


Gustav III



Arms: No picture available


Motto: FADERNESLANDET (The Fatherland)


Gustav IVAdolphus



Arms:  No picture available


Motto: GUD OCH FOLKET (God and People)


Charles XIII


King of Norway 1815-1818


Like the arms of his predessors no picture of the royal arms of Charles XIII are available. His arms 1809-’15 however are a part of his royal achievement engraved on his seal and are today on the throne-hanging in the Hall of State.


After the personal union of Sweden and Norway was created in 1814 the royal arms were adapted. To make room for the arms of Norway two of the four quarters of Sweden and Götaland were replaced by the arms of Norway, the three emblems arranged in a shield parted by a pall patée reversed. This arrangement was more or less inspired by the chancellery arms of the Danish monarchy being per pale of Denmark and Norway and a base of Sweden alias Union of Kalmar

As the arms of Norway came in the backshield, they were removed form the dynastical arms of Holstein Gopttorp which became: per saltire, the chief of Schleswig, the base of Ditmarschen, the dexter of Holstein and the sinister of Stormarn, in nombril point ¼ of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst.



Arms: Parted per chevron inversed the base per pale, in chief Sweden, the dexter of Norway and the sinister of Götaland, and a pall patée reversed Or over all charged with the adapted arms of Holstein Gottorp.

Crown: A royal crown offive leaves and hoops.

Orders:  Order of Charles XIII (1811); Wasa Order (1772); Order of the Northern Star (1748); Order of the Sword (1522/1748); Order of the Seraphim (1748).


Motto: FOLKETS VÄL MIN HÖGSTA LAG (The Welfare of the People is my Highest Law).


Crown Prince Charles August  *09.07.1768 / 24.01.1810-†28.05.1810


Charles XIII was childless, so in order to secure the succession to the throne, someone had to be he adopted as his heir. After some deliberations the choice fell on Christian August of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenborg who was inaugurated on 24 January 1810. As Crown Prince of Sweden he changed his name to Charles August (Carl August). However he died of a stroke on following  28 May and was buried in Riddarholmen on 20 June.

On a medal commemorating his inauguration his arms are the arms of Schleswig and he is crowned by the allegory of Sweden supporting the arms with the crowns. His motto was TREPIDIS FIDUCIA REBUS (Confidence in times of Unrest)




House of Bernadotte

Karl XIV Johann


Crown Prince of Sweden 21.08.1810 - 05.02.1818

Crown Prince of Norway 04.11.1814 - 05.02. 1818

Vice-King of Norway 09.11.1814-17.11.1814

King of Sweden and Norway 05.02.1818 - 08.03.1844


= Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte (*26.01.1763 - Pau †08.03.1844 - Stockholm), Major General (26.06. 1794, promoted on the battlefield by general Kléber), Lieutenant General (09.08.1794), Marshal of the Empire of France  (29 floréal an XII = 19.05.1804), 1st Prince of Pontecorvo and the Empire of France (05.06.1806 - 21.08.1810),),


Grand Aigle de la Légion d'honneur (13 pluviôse an XIII = 02.02 1805), chef de la 8e cohorte, Grand Collier de la Légion d'honneur, Grand-Cross of  the Black Eagle and of the Red Eagle of Prussia (1805), of St Henry of Saxony and of the Elephant of Denmark (1805).


As a Prince of Pontecorvo and a Grand Aigle of the Legion d’Honneur he bore:



Arms: Azure, a bridge of three arches supporting two towers spanning a river Argent and a chief of the first the French Imperial Eagle Or.

Supporters: Two marshal’s batons in saltire

Order: The Collar of the Grand Aigle of the Légion d’Honneur

Mantle: Azure, fringed andtasseled Or, lined ermine and crowned with a crown of a Prince of the Empire.


When he was adopted by Charles XIII as his crown prince in 1810 he became a knight of the Order of the Seraphim on 21 August 1810.


Modern rendering after his arms in Riddarholmen


Arms: Per pale of Sweden and Götaland and in nombril point Azure, a bridge of three arches supporting two towers spanning a river Argent and a chief of the first the French Imperial Eagle Or (Pontecorvo).

Crown: A Swedish Princely Crown

Orders: Order of Charles XIII (1811);Wasa Order (1772); Order of the Northern Star (1748); Order of the Sword (1522/1748); Order of the Seraphim (1748)





Arms: Parted per chevron inversed the base per pale, in chief Sweden, the dexter of Norway and the sinister of Götaland, and a pall patée reversed Or over all, charged with the

Crown: A royal crown offive leaves and hoops.

Orders:  Order of Charles XIII (1811);Wasa Order (1772); Order of the Northern Star (1748); Order of the Sword (1522/1748); Order of the Seraphim (1748)



Motto: FOLKETS KÄRLEK MIN BELÖNING (The Love of the People is my Reward)


Badge of the Marshal of the Realm, 1818-‘44

Livrustkammaren  Inv. nr. 6039 (5630:14)


Crowned Royal arms on a circular shield, surrounded by a garland of branches of olive


Oscar I




Arms: Parted per pale, the dexter per fess of  Sweden and Götaland, demi-cross Or over all; the sinister of Norway, and in nombril point a parted per pale of Wasa and Bernadotte.

Crown: A royal crown offive leaves and hoops.

Orders:  Order of Charles XIII (1811);Wasa Order (1772); Order of the Northern Star (1748); Order of the Sword (1522/1748); Order of the Seraphim (1748)



Motto: RÄTT OCH SANNING (Right and Truth).


Charles XV




Motto: LAND SKALL MED LAG BYGGAS (By Law the Country shall be Build )


Oscar II



After the secession of Norway in 1905 the royal arms of the Union became obsolete, in Sweden and Norway remaining just the royal arms of Norway and Sweden



Motto 1872-1905: BRÖDRAFOLKENS VÄL (The Welfare of the Fraternal People)

Motto 1905-1907: SVERIGES VÄL (The Welfare of Sweden)


Gustaf V




Motto: MED FOLKET FÖR FOSTERLANDET (With the People for their Country)


Gustavus VI Adolphus



Motto: PLIKTEN FRAM FÖR ALLT (Duty Above All)


Charles XVI Gustavus



Æ See illustration in the head of this chapter.


Motto: FÖR SVERIGE - I TIDEN (For Sweden with the Times)


The Regalia



The Regalia consist of the Orb, symbolizing the realm,  the Throne, symbolizing kingship, the Crown symbolizing the administrative rank of the king, , the Sceptre symbolizing administrative authority and the Sword, symbolizing armed authority.


The Orb


See: The Realm


The Throne


Photo Alexis Daflos

The arms on Queen Christina’s Silver Throne, 1650

In the Hall of State at the Royal Palace


The Crown


On their seals the Kings of Sweden bear crowns of the common european fashion. The first known consists of a diadem with low points and a low cap. From the middle of the 13th century the diadem is set with three shamrock-shaped leaves. King Magnus II Eriksson bore a crown set with three triquetra’s, a symbol of the state which can be seen on his seal of majesty but too on his supposed portrait on the tomb Cover of Holmger Knutsson. This innovation however was not followed by his successors who bore the classical shamrock-leaved crowns again.


Crown ans orb of Magnus II Eriksson


Crown of Eric XIV, 1561


The Crown of Eric XIV, made in Stockholm in 1561 by the Flemish goldsmith Cornelius ver Welden, is typical of the Renaissance style of jewelry of his time. Originally his crown bore four pairs of the letter 'E' and 'R', the initials of the Latin form of his name, “Ericus Rex”, in green enamel, each pair being on either side of the central stones on the front, sides and back of the circlet. When he was deposed by his brother, John III, John had each of these letter s covered with identical cartouches each set with two pearls. The Swedish monarchs of the Houses of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, of Hesse and of Holstein-Gottorp preferred to use Queen Christina's crown rather than that of Eric XIV, however, the House of Bernadotte choose to use Eric's crown. However, they replaced the original orb and cross at the top of the crown with a new large orb enameled blue with gold star and set with diamond and with a cross of ten diamonds. They also replaced the original pearls on the top of the eight large ornaments on the circlet with diamonds and replacing the pearl cartouches with eight diamond rosettes moved the circlet 45 degrees. This is the form the crown has in the portrait of Oscar II painted by Oscar Björck. In the early twentieth century this orb and cross and these diamond rosettes were removed and the crown restored to essentially the form it had under John III.


Crown and regalia of Queen Christina as a child


As her coronation Christina of Sweden used the crown that her mother Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg had used as the queen consort of Gustav II Adolph. It was made in Stockholm in 1620 by German goldsmith Rupprecht Miller and originally had two arches in a very fine foliage design in gold with black enameling and set with rubies and diamonds (a reference to the colors of the arms of her father John Sigmund of Brandenburg), with a small blue enameled orb and a cross, both set with diamonds. Christina had two more arches added to her mother's crown matching the first two and had more diamonds and rubies added to it to enhance the crown's appearance as the crown of a queen regnant. She also added a cap of purple satin, embroidered in gold and set with more diamonds, to the inside of the crown. The circlet of the crown has eight large cabochon rubies set beneath each of the eight arches of the crown and diamonds in large rosette patterns in the intervening spaces of the circlet.


Crown and regalia of Charles XI ((1660-1718)

Crown and regalia of Queen Ulrica (1718-’20)

Frederick I  (1720-’51)


The Sceptre


Eric also had a scepter, an orb and a key made for his coronation. A key is an item found only in the Swedish regalia (although a pair of gold and silver keys also were formerly presented to a new pope at his coronation). His scepter was made by Hans Heiderick in 1561 and is of gold, enameled and set with diamonds, rubies and sapphires and is still used as the royal sceptre. It originally was surmounted by a large round sapphire at the top enclosed by two intersecting rows of pearls. This sapphire was lost at the baptism of Gustav IV Adolf and was replaced by the present dark blue enamelled orb in 1780. The orb is also of gold and is unique among European regalia in that it is engraved and enamelled with a map of the earth according to the cartography current at the time it was made. At the top of the orb is a smaller orb in blue enamel and covered with stars, above which is a small cross formed of a table cut diamond surrounded by three pearls. The orb was made by Cornelius ver Weiden and probably engraved by Franz Beijer in Antwerp in 1568. The present blue enamel dates from 1751 and replaces the original black enamel that was badly damaged at the coronation of Charles XI. The original model used for the engraving is not known, but the engager engraved the northern hemisphere upside down, while placing the names are where they would have been if the map were right side up.

The anointing horn was made in 1606 in Stockholm by Peter Kilimpe for the coronation of Carl IX and is of gold in the shape of s bull's horn supported by a pedestal. The large end is closed by a lip with a chain and on the opposite point of the horn stands a small figure of justice holding a pair of scales. The horn is decorated in ornamental relief work with multi-colored opaque and translucent enamel and set with 10 diamonds and 14 rubies, including 6 Karelian'rubies' (i.e., garnets).


The Sword of State


The sword may be considered the badge of operational armed authority, in the case of the king the emblem of supreme command.  Initially this command was symbolized by a spear which in fact is the oldest known royal arms. A spear can be seen on ancient representations of commanders from Vendel times. It was still the symbol of command in the 12th century when it was represented on the seal of king Carl Sverkersson.

Commander on Vendel helmet

Equestrian seal of king Carl Sverkersson, 1164-‘67


Soon afterwards the supreme command became a function of the Jarl who was represented on his equestrian seal swinging a sword.

Seal of Jarl Birger Bengtsson, 1180-1202


The Sword of State of 1542 Rikssvärdet från 1542 (Skattkammaren nr 13)

A sword belonging to the king and as such to be considered the Sword of State was ordered by Gustav I Vasa in 1541 and is today in the Treasury Room (Skatkammaren) in Stockholm with the inventory number 13.

The sword was bought in Augsburg from the German  merchant Claus Heyder. The blade is richly decorated with engravings and partly guilded. The decorations consist of the Swedish arms and scenes from the first five books of the old Testament comparing Gustav Vasa with Joseph and Moses.


An Older Sword of State Det äldre rikssvärdet (Skattkammaren nr 14)

The Older Sword of State is probably the one used at Erik XIV’s coronation (1560). Its rigid blade is very typical of a real knight's weapon, both because of its ridges (increases) and of its blood groove (a depression in the middle of the blade). The blade is richly etched and partially gilded and is a work made in the famous Episcopal workshops in the city of Passau. The motives in the etchings are from Roman history: Caius Mucius Scaevola before King Porsenna and the magnanimity of Emperor Trajan and are motifs from Albrecht Dürer's paintings in Nuremberg's city hall.

A short time before the coronation Erik XIV’s a new hilt was made for the sword in Sweden. It is a fine and noble specimen of what at best could be accomplished in contemporary Sweden with fine gold and silver inlays. Later additions are the lashes at the tip and at the back of the mount, and hilt dress with gold embroidered velvet dating from the 1700s. The sword has two sheaths, one from 1581 and one made by the sword smith of the court Johan Tiberg 1808


Sword of State of Gustav III, 1771



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© Hubert de Vries 2015-09-10




[1] Hefner, O.T. von: Die Wappen der Souveräne der deutschen Bundesstaaten. Baner & Raspe. Nürnberg, 1856. P. 41

[2] There are several different (contradicting) versions of this story.

[3] Dahlberg, Erik: Suecia Antiqua & Hodierna. Bearbetad och kompletterad upplaga försedd med kommentarer huvudsakligen hämtade ur äldre källor. P. 9

[4] From the portrait of Christina in: Anselm van Hulle: Les hommes illustres qui ont vécu dans le XVII. siecle: les principaux potentats, princes, ambassadeurs et plenipotentiaires qui ont assisté aux conferences de Munster et d'Osnabrug avec leurs armes et devises / dessinez et peints au naturel par le fameux Anselme van Hulle, peintre de Frederic Henri de Nassau, Prince D'Orange, et gravez par les plus habiles maîtres. David Mortier, Amsterdam. 1648. Translation of: Celeberrimi ad pacificandum christiani nominis orbem: legati Monasterium et Osmabrugas, ex omni pene gentium nationumque genere missi; ad vivum Anselmi van Hulle penicillo expressi, eiusque cura et aere, per insigniores huius aevi sculptores caelo repraesentati.- Antverpiae: apud Danielem Middelerium, 1648