The standing ram is seen in numerous contemporary 16th and 17th century portraits of knights of the Golden Fleece. Below we reference those that seem worthy of note from a variety of books and catalogs. This list is a work in progress and will grow as we receive information. A statistical analysis of some of the data is given after the Toisón De Or list, with results that are consistent with our earlier evidence.
¶ The following knight numbers, as given in the Insigne Orden book, have thumbnail portraits there that show them wearing a standing ram Golden Fleece. Since the portraits are not identified or dated we only can rank them by the year of their appointment to the order. The earlier knights, who wear the standing ram, end at 1621 with no. 350; the later somewhat standing ram fleeces begin in 1622 with no. 352 and end in 1700 with no. 602. There are perhaps a dozen or so more possible portraits to list, but they are so small and sometimes uncertain that I have only chosen the most obvious ones.
110 Charles V, the collar on his arms has a standing ram fleece
112, 116, 130, 163, 167, 178, 184, 189 (Maximillian de Egmond), 193, 222, 266, 292, 330, 341, 350
¶ In these later 17th century portraits a fleece that still has significant elements of the standing ram form is seen for knights:
352, 362, 373, 379, 381, 392, 399, 401, 408, 433, 442, 448, 490, 492, 502, 509, 511, 540, 602.
¶ We also call attention to the following pages in the book for more examples:
12-13 Shows all the 1519 Barcellona Chapter stall plates.
57 Miniature in a copy of the statutes has a standing ram on a collar. Below it is a baroque wooly fleece on a collar.
64 Miniature of Philip the Good at the "Debate on Homer" in 1449 wears a full-bodied but pre standing ram fleece on his collar.
81 C. 1522 color bust of Charles V in Bruges.
86 Shows a photo of the stall plates from the 1559 final Chapter in Ghent for five Spanish knights, and the fleece for four of them show the influence of the standing ram form.
100 A post 17th century painting of the famous priest San Francisco de Borja, Duque de Gandia, who is always shown with a Golden Fleece and has a standing ram one here.
118 On an officer’s badge.
118 On a marble bust of Godoy, after 1792, that seems to be a close copy of the mid 16th century bust of Charles V we show, thus explaining the anachronistic usage in 1792.
204 Portrait of Philip II with a standing ram fleece and standing ram embroidery on his robes.
205 Standing ram on contemporary arms of Philip II [5 times].
318 Standing ram fleece on the arms of Luis I from 1724.
330 Ferdinand VI (1746-59), standing ram style bijou on a red ribbon.
479 On the badge of the King of Arms now in Vienna, c. 1580.
¶ Here we have an actual catalog with standard bibliographic references on the items. This permits us to more closely date the actual image, and the results are summarized at the end. Citations are by page and catalog number, with color pages being shown as the two pages they separate, such as 136/37. Knights of the order have their Insigne Orden number after their name.
P. 110 cat. 29, 1478 – Adolphe De Cleves [no. 56] wearing a near standing ram fleece.
P. 113 cat 31, 1472-82 – Louis De Bruges [no. 62] wearing an early and thinner, but near, standing ram.
P. 117 cat. 35, 1446-50 – Charles the Rash [no. 35] with a slender but nearly standing ram.
P. 119 cat. 38, 1520 – Charles the Rash [no. 35] from a Statute Book of 1520 where he has a large and upright standing ram fleece.
P. 132 cat. 51, 1510 – Emperor Maximillain I [no. 79] wearing a big, fat standing ram.
P. 136/37 cat. 58, 1510-15 – Emperor Maximillian I [no. 79] standing ram.
P. 138 cat. 60, 1481-90 – John de Berghes [no. 93] standing ram on his arms. de Berghes had a long and intimate connection to the Habsburgs being chamberlain to Philip the Fair, ambassador for Charles V and architect of the 1505 Council of Malines.
P. 141 cat. 63, 1490 – Philip the Fair [no. 88] standing ram engraved on his breastplate.
P. 142 cat. 64, 1512-17 – Philip the Fair [no. 88] Engraving on paper showing a standing ram on both Maximilian and Philip. These rams very closely resemble those of M. Heemskereck shown on our Charles V page, and this may be the original model for Heemskereck, or an earlier copy of a model both used.
P. 151 cat. 76, 1501-08– Jean de Luxembourg [no. 116] Crop of the portrait only shows the top of what seems clearly a standing ram fleece.
P. 160 cat. 89, 1520– Charles V [no. 110] standing ram on collar shown on a brooch
P. 163 cat. 95, 1530 – Charles V [no. 110] medallion showing a standing ram on a collar.
P. 165 cat. 102, 1540-45 – Charles V [no. 110] standing ram on collar worn with armor.
P. 172 cat. 110, >1516 – Frederick II, Duke of Bavaria [no.130] Slender standing ram on a collar, perhaps that kept in the Munich Schatzkammer today.
P. 184/85 cat. 129, >1546 – Duke of Alba [no. 193] Wearing a fat standing ram on a double gold chain.
P. 226 cat. 197, 1628 – Philip IV [no. 325] standing ram on collar.
P. 286 cat. 280, 1705-15 – Philip V [no. 614] fat standing ram on collar. Collar likely an antique taken by Philip from the Spanish treasury as he was not a knight with a collar of his own before his election to the throne in 1700 and admission to the order in 1701.
P. 293 cat. 290, 1740-50 – Louis XV [no. 706] Standing ram on a wide, French style, ribbon. With the arrival of the Bourbons as kings of Spain there was a large rise in the number of French knights, and many, including the king, seem to have copied the antique standing ram form that was used by Philip V and other Bourbon kings [see p. 286 note above.].
P. 303 cat. 302, 1789 – Louis Henri, Duke of Bourbon [no. 814] Marble bust in the Renaissance style as with Charles V and Godoy that shows a standing ram fleece on a very wide, French style, ribbon.
From these citations we have 19 instances of a standing ram involving 14 knights, and six of those were heads of the order (and three their cousins) which hints at a royal connection of the style centering on Charles V. The vast majority of the usages run from 1446-1546, and then we jump 75 years each time to the next two sovereign wearers, and 75 years again to the last French example. The 1446 to 1482 examples are almost, but not fully, a standing ram; the 1490 to 1546 are fully developed standing rams and it seems common usage. Thereafter examples are sparse and stretched out with decades between, and in the course of the 17th century the form slowly changes to the now normal empty fleece.
I. The Aldenhaag Fleece
II. The Hamlets of Thedinghsweert & Zoelen-Aldenhaag
III. The van Egmonds, Claes Vijgh & The Golden Fleece
IV. The Standing Ram Fleece & Charles V
V. Documentation & Photos
VB. Documentation & Photos II
Appendix 2. Other Scholars Look At the Aldenhaag Fleece
Appendix 3. Greek & Roman Mythology of the Golden Fleece
3B. Classical Texts That Mention the Golden Fleece
May 2010 Meeting on the Aldenhaag Fleece — 1. The Places
May 2010 Meeting on the Aldenhaag Fleece — 2. The Fleece
Return to Society of the Golden Fleece
Return to the Golden Fleece Insignia Page
Antiques AtoZ Home Page
Medals, Orders & Decorations