The chain of the Order of Jehovah

Karl IX (Charles IX) was the leader of the Protestant opposition under the reign of the catholic King Sigismund, who was besides being ‘King of Sweden’ also ‘King of Poland’. In 1599 King Sigismund was removed from the throne because he was a great proponent of the catholic Contra reformation. The government appointed Karl IX 1595 as regent. In 1604 he became King of Sweden until 1611.


Karl IX
1550 - 1611
(King of Sweden 1604 - 1611)


His motto was IEHOVAH SOLATIUM MEUM, which we can still read on his statue in Göteborg. The English translation is: “Jehovah comforts me”.

In 1606, King Karl IX commissioned the Order of Jehovah (Swedish: Kungliga Jehovaorden). This order is described as a knight order, but the king retained it for himself and his children. A goldsmith was ordered to manufacture four precious chains and four pendants. The beautiful collar was made in Stockholm by goldsmith Antonij Groot the Elder.

Picture: Wikimedia Commons (© Robert Prummel) / license GNU / FDL.


The King wore his sign of the Order during his crowning ceremony in the cathedral of Uppsala, on March 15, 1607. The three princes, John Duke Östergödland, Gustav Adolf II and Charles Philip, also wore their orders. Three chains are preserved today in the National Historical Collections of Stockholm.

Every chain has 24 golden links. 12 links are made in the form of two hands, with a corn sheaf. The corn sheaf is a component of the coat of arms of the Royal House of Wasa. The coloured links are made with enamel and grenadine red and blue melted glass. The 12 other links are decorated with sly mount crystal, clasped in a Renaissance jewel. The facing of the chain was a pendant with a star. The eight points are decorated with four rock crystals. Around the star is a ring of red grenadines. In the middle of the star is a large and very clear quartz crystal, in which God’s name JHWH is engraved in Hebrew; The characters are made of gold. Beneath the pendant is another mounted crystal in a golden facing. Here the tetragrammaton is also engraved. Quartz crystal was frequently used as a replacement for diamond.

Noteworthy is the use of God’s name in the Order. In the 17th century era and in the Scandinavian culture God’s name was more commonly used in comparison with our time. Gustav II Adolf, the son and next king of Sweden, had a decorated collar on which was written IEHOVA. (Please look at our page Museums - or click here). There were also many coins made in Sweden and Denmark on which the tetragrammaton was placed.


Picture: Wikimedia Commons (© Robert Prummel) / license GNU / FDL.


Detail, note 2 times God's name...






- top -