Eccentric Rudolph II Held Large Quantities of Pearls Known as Rudolph II Pearls

Rudolph II Pearls bring to mind a treasure horde of someone who thought they'd live here on earth forever.

The scientific, art-loving but eccentric Rudolph II (1552-1612), Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, gathered about him at Prague a great collection of jewels and wealth of all sorts.

The values of his pearls and precious stones, of the gold and silver articles, was estimated by the archaeologist, Jules Caesar Boulenger, at seventeen millions of gold florins, which was a very considerable sum at the time, as appears when we consider that one hundred gold florins annually was deemed a good salary for an official at the emperor's court.

De Boot mentions a pearl belonging to Rudolph II which weighed " thirty carats and cost as many thousands of gold pieces".

It is quite likely that this was the one noted by Gomara as coming from the Gulf of Panama, and which Rudolph probably inherited from his grandfather, Emperor Charles V.

The pearl bought by Oviedo in Panama, prior to 1526, may be one of the principal decorations of the imperial crown of Austria.

We read in that curious and interesting book, "The Generall Historie of the Turkes," by Richard Knolles, (London, 1631, p. 1297.) that Abbas the Great, Shah of Persia (1557-1628), after having defeated the Turks in many battles, desired to form an alliance with Emperor Rudolph II, and to induce him to break his engagements with the Turks. To this end Shah Abbas, in 1610 sent an embassy to Prague, with many valuable gifts for the emperor, among which were "three orientall perles exceeding big". It has been conjectured, and it is also claimed, that these may be three of the eight pearl-shaped pearls which are now to be seen in the crown of Rudolph II. One of the largest pearls in the Austrian crown, as we have stated, is most probably the Oviedo Pearl.

Rudolph II Pearls as told by Kunz and Stevenson in "The Book of the Pearl".

Go to main famous pearls and collections after Rudolph II Pearls.
Homepage for KariPearls

Search here.


Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.