Book Series Burgundica, vol. 12

The Order of the Golden Tree

The Gift-giving Objectives of Duke Philip The Bold of Burgundy

C.M. Chattaway

  • Pages: 288 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2006

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-52297-5
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55693-2
  • E-book
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"Chattaway's study is a profound one and solidly grounded in archival research, which is why it has earned a place in the prestigious Burgundica series". (Bas Jongenelen in Sixteenth Century Journal, XXXIX/1, 2008, pp. 326-327)

"It is a serious and constructive contribution with important conclusions for study of a period when chivalric princely orders were both burgeoning and rapidly evolving." (M. Jones, in: French History, Vol. 24, No. 2, June 2010, p. 283-284) <doi:10.1093/fh/crq012>

"(...) Carol M. Chattaway hat mit ihrer soliden quellennahen Untersuchung einen wichtigen Beitrag sowohl zur Burgundforschung als auch zur Erforschung des höfischen Geschenkverkehrs im allgemeinen und im besonderen geleistet, der zu Recht in die renommierte "Burgundica"-Reihe aufgenommen worden ist." (J. Hirschbiegel, in: Francia Online, 2009/2)



This book explores the policy objectives underlying the gift of this Order, to sixty men, on January 1 1403. Drawing primarily on Philip’s household accounts, it undertakes complementary iconographical and prosopographical analyses (of the Order insignia’s form, materials, design and motto; and of distinguishing common features among its recipients), refined by reference to his policy concerns around the occasion of its bestowal, to test seven hypotheses. The evidence from the analyses enables six of these (that it was purely decorative; a courtly conceit; crusade-related; a military chivalric order; a livery badge; or a military alliance) progressively to be discarded, pointing strongly to the seventh, that the Order was a specific policy alliance, designed in fashionable form, to obscure its politically sensitive purpose. The nature of that purpose then permits a revision of Philip’s role in history, particularly in relation to the creation of an independent Burgundian state, and the use of a co-ordinated propaganda campaign of slogan, badge, and supporting literature, to legitimise and popularise his plans. The analytical approach also offers insights into the significance of decorative, material gift-giving; the identification of networks; Christine de Pisan’s earlier political writings, and the origins of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Carol Chattaway is Honorary Research Assistant at the Royal College of Art and University College, London University. She researches on the political significance of material objects at the Burgundian Court, in the later middle ages.