“Since the 13th century, the ceremonial mace, rod and staff was synonymous with authority, prestige and power.’’
Although they were once wielded by medieval knights, maces haven’t been used for hitting people for quite some time - and these elegant ceremonial maces have never seen combat. Still, when our craftsmen received these three maces from the City of London, they were in need of a little tender love and care despite their lack of bludgeoning experience.
Ceremonial maces in the United Kingdom are used to represent a monarch’s authority in parliaments and councils, and these ward maces are carried by the 25 aldermen of the City of London, displayed and used during the city’s eight grand ceremonial occasions that take place throughout the year. This trio of ward maces represent Castle Baynard, Billingsgate and Cornhill, three wards located at the heart of the historic and financial centre of London.
The oldest - the ward mace for Billingsgate - dates back to 1669, just three years after the Great Fire of London, so it can be forgiven for requiring a little maintenance. But the job given to the craftsmen takes more care than our usual repairs. Pieces like these maces have an extremely long history, and the marks they bear are important - like battle scars, much of the damage tells a story, and it isn’t our job to rewrite the history of these precious items.
Our craftsmen work to make the maces look as good as possible - ensuring that each of the delicate design elements remains strong, but unchanged from the way they looked when they were created. With as little intervention as possible, we’ll treat these maces to a revitalisation process that will leave them more resilient, but otherwise unchanged.