Order of the Ship and the Mussel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Saint Louis, the founder, on his death bed in Tunis (French painting school (19th century)

The Order of the Ship (French : Ordre du Navire) was founded in 1269 by the French king Louis IX the Saint. It was also called the Ordre d'Outremer (Overseas Order), Ordre de la Coquille de Mer (Order of the Sea-shell = Ordre of the Mussel), Ordre du Double Croissant (Order of the Double Crescent).[1]

It was founded to encourage the French nobility to participate to the Eighth Crusade in North Africa. In their oath, the knight was obliging himself to defend the interest of the Church.[2][1]

Ceremonial cloth of a knight of the Order (François de Poilly, Reconstruction of the 17th century).[3]

Insignia[edit]

The Collar was composed of double golden[4] shells (mussels) and double silver[4] crescents interlaced in saltire. Hanging from the collar, a red-enameled golden medallion[4] with a silver ship, the point of which was waved in silver and green (Image).[1]

The shells were representing the war and the harbour of Aigues-Mortes, from which the knights embarked for the cruisade. The crescents were to symbolize the Muslims to be fought. The ship marked the overseas character of the glorious expedition.[5]

The knights of this order were allowed to put a silver ship with french flags (= semé-de-lis on azure) on the helmet of their coat of arms or to put the same golden ship in a silver chef directly in their coat of arms. As such, using "gold on silver" (metal on metal) by this royal honour, those coats of arms became some armes à enquerre.[4]

The king died on 25 August 1270 in Tunis and the order didn't survive long its sovereign in France, diasappearing with its recipients.[1]

But, according to Moreri, it remained famous in the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily because Charles of France, King of Naples and Sicily, Count of Anjou and Maine, Count of Provence and Forcalquier, a brother of Saint Louis, used it as the Ordre du Croissant for himself and his successors, Kings of Naples. René of Anjou revived it in 1448 in Sicily and Provence.[4]

Ackermann and Steenackers mention this chivalric order as historical order of France.[2][1]

Recipients[edit]

Famous recipients were (ages in 1269):[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e François Frédéric Steenackers, "Histoire des ordres de chevalerie et des distinctions honorifiques en France", Librairie Internationale, Paris, 1868, p. 148 - Google Book citing:
    • R.P. Honoré de Sainte Marie (Carme Déchaussé), "Dissertations historiques et critiques sur la Chevalerie ancienne et moderne, séculière et régulière, Ed. Nicolas Pepie & Jean-François Moreau, Paris, 1718, p. 128 - Google Book
  2. ^ a b Gustav Adolph Ackermann, Ordensbuch, Sämtlicher in Europa blühender und erloschener Orden und Ehrenzeichen. Annaberg, 1855, p 208 n°77 "Orden den Schiffs und der Seemuschel" - Google Book (Former orders of France : p. 205-214)
  3. ^ Maximilien Bullot & Pierre Hélyot, Histoire des ordres monastiques, religieux et militaires, et des congregations seculieres de l'un & l'autre sexe, qui ont esté establies jusque'à present, 8th Tome, 6th Part, Chapter XXXVIII, p. 279-281 Ed. Nicolas Gosselin, Engravings by François de Poilly, Paris, 1719 - Google Book
  4. ^ a b c d e f Louis Moreri, "Le Grand Dictionnaire Historique, ou Le mélange curieux de l'histoire sacrée et profane", Paris, 1747, Tome 6, p. 392 (3rd col.) : article Navire - Google Book
  5. ^ R.P. Honoré de Sainte Marie (Carme Déchaussé), "Dissertations historiques et critiques sur la Chevalerie ancienne et moderne, séculière et régulière, Ed. Nicolas Pepie & Jean-François Moreau, Paris, 1718, p. 128 - Google Book