Collars of Orders of Knighthood & Livery Collars
The Knights of the Crown: The Monarchical Orders of Knighthood in Later Medieval Europe 1325-1520

I’ve attempted to organize these collars (and depictions of collars) into groups, where multiple versions of the same sort of collar appear.

(These are sometimes referred to as “chains of estate,” especially when they relate to a specific office, rather than the affiliation or fealty implied in a livery collar, or the membership in an order of knighthood implied in the wearing of a collar of an order of knighthood.)


COLLARS OF ESSES (initially a livery collar associated with John of Gaunt and his followers; later, a badge of the house of Lancaster)

YORKIST COLLARS (a chain of roses and suns; pendants signify different affiliations)

COLLARS OF THE ORDER OF THE GARTER (founded by Edward III, King of England, in the mid-14th century; the collar usually has alternating knots and garters [surrounding roses], and the pendant is St. George slaying the dragon)

COLLARS OF THE ORDER OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE (founded by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, in 1430; the collar usually has alternating flints & steels and sparks, and the pendant is a golden fleece)

COLLARS OF THE ORDER OF SAINT MICHAEL (founded by Louis XI of France in 1469; the collar usually has alternating knots and cockleshells, and the pendant shows the Archangel Michael stabbing the serpent)

MISCELLANEOUS LIVERY COLLARS

  • Richard II on the left panel of the Wilton Diptych, c. 1395-1399
    A collar of broomcods, or cosses de geneste, being the livery collar of the King of France (Richard married Isabella of Valois, daughter of Charles VI of France, in 1396). The pendant is a white hart, Richard's personal badge; note that Mary and the angels on the right panel all wear the white harts as well.
  • Portrait of a man with the badges of the Order of Our Lady of the Swan, and the Fish and Falcon jousting company, by Hans Baldung Grien, 1514