The British Crown Jewels (in replica) are the major attraction of a British heritage exhibition that will be taking place in the historic Gallery Building at Herrenhausen Royal Gardens, Hannover (Germany) from 14 April to 11 May 1997. The forthcoming exhibition will be the largest of its kind ever presented in Europe. The collection contains replicas of all the existing historic crown jewels and regalia the originals of which, according to a 600 year old law, must never leave the country and can therefore only be seen at the Tower of London. (The Scottish Crown Jewels are kept at Edinburgh Castle, the Welsh in Cardiff.)
The more than 70 replica pieces from the royal treasure, which, besides the crowns worn by kings, queens and their consorts, and the four surviving crowns of Princes of Wales, also contain the regalia used during coronations and on state occasions - such as the swords, orbs, sceptres, coronation rings, spurs, bracelets, the ampulla and anointing spoon, altar plates and furthermore, though strictly speaking they are not crown jewels, the insignia of the Orders of Knighthood - will certainly be one of the highlights of the exhibition. However, these stunning pieces form only a small though most significant part of this wide-ranging exhibition that includes many hundreds of rare original items of various kinds which are intended to record and illustrate the history of the English/ British monarchy while, at the same time, bringing to light many special features and peculiarities of Britain's political tradition.
The collection that has been built up and continuously enlarged over the years by German-born Nicolaus Peter Findeisen and his English wife Suzan contains among other things:
- the original robes and coronets of a Peer and a Peeress worn at Her Majesty's coronation in 1953
- examples of all categories of Peers' and Peeresses' coronets
- an original Mayor's robe
- replicas of Britain's most famous gems (e.g. the 1st and 2nd "Star of Africa" cut from the Cullinan diamond, the Koh-i-Noor, the Stuart Sapphire, the Black Prince's Ruby and others)
- a selection of original Guard Regiment uniforms
- original uniforms (both day wear and ceremonial) of the Yeoman Warders ("Beefeater") and the Jewels House Wardens from HM Tower of London
- documents, portraits, rare prints, original newspapers
- medals, coins, orders, personal items, coronation souvenirs
- a gallery of the 40 kings and queens
- a pictorial record of the stages of the coronation ceremony
- lavishly costumed, life-size figures of King John and Queen Victoria
- a collection of exquisitely dressed, wax period dolls (and others)
- a rare collection of photographs depicting the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II from 1926-1964
An extraordinary feature of the exhibition will be the life-size "Living Image"- Figure of Queen Elizabeth I: by means of today's latest video technology the figure actually speaks to the visitors and appears to come to life!
Last but not least, a special section of the exhibition will focus on the "Hanoverian Period" (1714 - 1837).