Order of the Porcupine
Award and history
Louis I, Duke of Orleans declared himself Grand Master of the Order and conferred membership on the lords of his court, with the aim of linking their faithfulness to his person. The knights' number was set to twenty-five, Sovereign Chief included.
Louis I, Duke of Orléans probably chose the porcupine as symbol to show to the Duke of Burgundy John the Fearless that he would revenge of his braving him, as the porcupine points his quills to its enemies.
Nevertheless, after Philip the Good helped to free Charles, Duke of Orléans, they granted each other membership of the Order of the Porcupine and the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1430. During Charles' captivity at Mont-St. Michel, he gave membership into the order to Jean d'Argouges and Pierre Crespin.
The collar of the order was composed of a tortil of three gold chains, at the end of which a gold porcupine hung on a green-enamelled flowered terrace. It was worn on an azure[a] velvet coat, lined with crimson satin, ornamented with a cope and a mantle, both crimson. Under the coat, the knights wore a long violet garment.
The knights received, on the day of their nomination, a gold ring adorned by a cameo (called in French at the period, "camaïeu" or "kamaheu" or even "camail") upon which a porcupine was engraved. For this reason, the Order of the Porcupine was also called the Ordre du Camail or "Ordre du Camaïeu" ("Order of the Cameo").
Porcupine symbol of the Valois-Orleans
Château de Blois, King Louis XII's portrait with the porcupine underneath
Rouen, Hôtel de Bourgtheroulde, 16th century
- Arn, Mary-Jo, ed. (2000). Charles D'Orléans in England, 1415-1440. D.S. Brewer.
- Boulton, D'Arcy Jonathan Dacre (1987). The Knights of the Crown: The Monarchical Orders of Knighthood in Later Medieval Europe. The Boydell Press.
- Bullot, Maximilien; Hélyot, Pierre (1719). Histoire des ordres monastiques, religieux et militaires, et des congregations seculieres de l'un & l'autre sexe, qui ont esté establies jusque'à present (in French). Vol. 8. Nicolas Gosselin.
- Famiglietti, R. C. (1992). Tales of the Marriage Bed from Medieval France (1300-1500). Picardy Press.
- Hochner, Nicole (2006). Louis XII: les dérèglements de l'image royale, 1498-1515 (in French). Champ Vallon.
- or violet, according to the sources.