The Mansion House – the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London and home to one of the largest and finest gold and silver plate collections in the world.
Join us for a fascinating professionally guided visit to the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London, including access to the Plate Room – which houses pieces given as gifts or acquired by the Mayoralty and the City of London Corporation. This hour-long tour will take in all the public spaces on the first floor of the architectural beauty which is the Mansion House including; The Walbrook Entrance, The Salon, The Drawing Rooms, The Long Parlour, The Old Ballroom and, familiar to some The Egyptian Hall.
The gold and silver collection is in constant use for ceremonial occasions, as ornament and as table decoration throughout the house for events and is composed by many interesting items: flagons and rosewater dishes, candelabra, cups, cigarette boxes, wine labels, cutlery, bowls and vases. One object, a speech timer given in 1975 by a Lord Mayor who disliked long speeches, has three egg timers that provide a visual guide to ensure the speaker knows when they have spoken for too long. On one of three silver centrepieces made in 1880 there is a figure representing navigation, with a little pillar by her side on top of which there is a working compass! Another interesting item is Queen Victoria’s knife and fork, originally given to the young Queen Victoria to eat her dessert at the coronation banquet in 1838 at the Guildhall. The Queen was presented with them at the end of the meal and they remained at Buckingham Palace until Queen Mary returned them to the Lord Mayor in 1936. Other attractive articles include: The Pearl Sword used according to legend, by Elizabeth I at the opening of first Royal Exchange in 1571. The scabbard contains over two thousand five hundred pearls sewn on both sides. The Fire Cup of 1662 is the only example of City of London plate surviving the Great Fire of London of 1666 and is so named after its recovery from the flames at Guildhall. The Collar of Esses was bequeathed by Sir John Aleyn a Mercer and Lord Mayor in 1535. It is suggested that the collar was part of Sir Thomas More’s regalia, forfeited to the crown on his execution. The Sword and Mace are the symbols of the Lord Mayor and the City of London Corporation’s authority granted by the monarch and parliament and are carried by the Swordbearer and Sergeant At Arms for ceremonial events. The Mace was made in 1735 by John White of London in silver gilt. There are a further four swords, the Pearl sword, the Mourning Sword, the Old Bailey Sword and the Mansion House Justice Room Sword!
Date: 26th April 2018
Visit time: 1/1.5 hours
Lunch: Optional, pay as you go at a local eatery.
Cost: £10 (a portion of which will be donated to the Guild of Entrepreneurs Trust)
Booking is essential for this fascinating tour. Please book here
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