Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 8 >> Cromer to Curves Of Double Curvature >> Crown


crosses, gold, cross and mound

CROWN, an official or symbolical orna ment worn on the head, now the symbol of royalty. At first it had no regal significance and was nothing more than a garland of leaves or flowers bestowed on athletes. Later it was made of gold and was bestowed on citizens deserving well of their country.

In the Middle Ages crowns became exclu sively appropriated to the royal and imperial dignity; the coronets of nobles were only borne in their coats of arms. It is, however, with the eastern diadem rather than with the classic corona that the crown as a symbol of royalty is connected; indeed, it was only introduced as such a symbol by Alexander the Great, who followed the Persian usage. The English crown has been gradually built up from the plain circlet with points. This form was elaborated and jeweled, and finally arched in with jeweled bands (diadems) surmounted by the cross and mound. As at present existing the crown of England is a gold circle, adorned with pearls and precious stones, and bearing alternately four crosses, patties and four fleurs-de-lis. From the top of the crosses rise imperial arches, closing under a mound and cross.• The whole covers a crimson velvet cap with an ermine border. The Soottish crown consists of a jeweled and enameled circle of gold, support ing 10 fleurs-de-lis and 10 crosses fleury in alternation. Each of the crosses is adorned with

a diamond and pearls, and from them rise four gold arches, closing under a mound, which bears' apearl-bedecked cross pattie. The royal crown of France is a circle ornamented with eight fleurs-de-lis, frotn which rise as many quarter circles closing under a double fleur-de-lis. The Austrian crown is a sort of cleft tiara.

2. The term crown is used figuratively for the royal power, in contradistinction either to the person of the monarch or to the body of the nation, with its representatives, interests, etc. Thus, in modern times, the word crown is used to express the rights and prerogatives of the monarch considered as a part of the state, which includes all powers—the legislative, judicial, etc. Thus the Crown domains are distinguished from the state or national domains.

3. In architecture, crown denotes the upper most member of a cornice; the corona; also a sort of ornamental structure surmounting a tpwer and formed by flying buttresses meeting together at top.

4. In English money, the crown is a coin, worth five shillings, or $1.22.