Unknown: Armorial plates from the Order of the Golden Fleece (16th century)


(Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium)

Six plates made by an artist from the (now French) city of Valenciennes. These plates are armorial plates of three members of the highly prestigious Order of the Golden Fleece. The Order of the Golden Fleece was founded in 1430 by duke Philip III the Good of Burgundy to celebrate his marriage with princess Isabella of Portugal. The order has a limited amount of members and still exists today - a Spanish and an Austrian branch. On various occasions the order held meetings in various places (usually churches). These six boards are from a set of about 48 and were made to celebrate the 23th meeting of the order which was held in the Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium, July 29 1559, during which 9 new members were added to the order. 
The 48 plates show the coat of arms of all the members who were present at this meeting

Upper row:
- left panel: duke Philip III the Good of Burgundy - Philip was already dead for about 100 years, his coat of arms is included because he was the founder of the order)
- central panel: prince Ferdinand (my guess this is probably Ferdinand II, Archduke of Further Austria (1529-1595), son of Holy Roman emperor Ferdinand I)
- right panel: Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba (1507-1582)

Lower row:
- left panel: Gonzalo II Fernández de Córdoba, 3rd duke of Sessa (1520-1578)
- central panel: Joachin de Rye, lord of Rye and Lavoncourt (...-1589)
- right panel: Iñigo Lopez de Mendoza y Pimentel, 4th Duke of the Infantado, (1493 – 1566)


Plates from the 16th century.

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