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A fine quality, boxwood sugar mould carved with the Prince of Wales feathers. This mould, although small, is exceptional. It is very deeply carved with the Prince of Wales feathers and, in the ribbon beneath is the German phrase "ICH DIEN". This was the emblem and motto of the Prince of Wales from the 14th century. The carving is of the finest quality and the mould dates from c.1780. It would have been made when George Augustus Frederick, son of George III, was the Prince of Wales. He was created Prince of Wales in 1762 and remained as such until he was crowned George IV in 1820. Beneath is an interesting account of how the emblem was adopted.
Dimensions: Length 16cm. Width 7.6cm. Depth 2.2cm.
English. Date c.1780.
Price includes postage within the U.K., shipping to the U.S.A. or Western Europe.
"According to a longstanding legend, the Black Prince obtained the badge from the blind King John of Bohemia, against whom he fought at the Battle of Crécy in 1346. After the battle, the prince is said to have gone to the body of the dead king, and taken his helmet with its ostrich feather crest, afterwards incorporating the feathers into his arms, and adopting King John's motto, "Ich Dien", as his own. The story first appears in writing in 1376, the year of the Black Prince's death. There is, however, no sound historical basis for it, and no evidence for King John having used either the crest (he actually bore a crest of vultures' wings) or the motto.
Since a key factor in the English army's victory at Crécy was the use of Welsh archers, it is also sometimes said to have been Edward's pride in the men of Wales which led him to adopt a symbol alluding to their assistance. The mediaeval German motto "Ich Dien" ("I serve") is a near-homophone for the Welsh phrase "Eich Dyn" meaning "Your Man", which might have helped endear the young Black Prince to the Welsh soldiers in particular. Again, however, there is no historical evidence to support this theory. In 1917, during the First World War, it was rumoured that the motto might be formally changed to "Eich Dyn" to avoid the use of German."