The van Reynegom ceremonial guild chain

Unlike many ceremonial guild chains, all the parts of this chain but one were designed and created at the same time. The chain was donated to the Guild of Archers by Norbert van Voorspoel, Lord of Herenthout, and his wife. This chain is likely to have replaced an earlier one, probably because the previous one contained too many links of varied shapes or perhaps because it had been seriously damaged.

The dimensions of this chain are impressive and give an idea of the monumental nature of the chain: with a total length of 107cms, it is composed of thirteen identical links with alternating representations of the guild’s attributes of the crossbow and quiver. The names of successive ‘kings’ or heads of the guild and the dates of their nomination are engraved. The large, central piece shows the figures of Saint Sebastian, patron saint of archers, and Saint Peter, patron saint of the parish church of Herenthout, beneath which is a second plaque, fixed at some later date, on which has been struck the joint coats of arms of the Sandelyn-Garrida Pardo family. The quality of this second plaque is, however, inferior to that of the plaque above it. The mark of a 19th century Belgian or Dutch workshop confirms that this second plaque was indeed created by someone else. The large escutcheon on the lower part of the chain also represents the combined family coats of arms, namely those of Norbert van Voorspoel and those of his cousin Livine van Voorspoel, whom he married in 1713.

The chain’s creator, Peter Van Eesbeeck, belonged to a famous family of silversmiths, although previously we knew only about the domestic and liturgical silver he created. Recent restoration of the chain enabled three hallmarks to be discovered on the van Voorspoel link of the chain:

  • a lion in a shield and the head of Saint Michael representing Brussels;
  • the monogram PVE, relating to the silversmith Petrus van Eesbeeck;
  • and finally, even if the letter indicating the year is missing, an inscription mentioning the date of 1740 that enables the chain to be dated.

After the Second World War, all trace of this chain had been lost until Baroness Monique della Faille donated it to the Foundation in 2004 in a gesture to ensure that the chain would be perpetuated for future generations and made accessible to the general public. The chain has been entrusted to DIVA in Antwerp, where it admirably completes its collection of folklore silverware.

Publication « Collier de gilde van Reynegom. Donation della Faille d’Huysse. »
Website DIVA – Museum of Silverwork, Jewellery and Diamonds, Antwerp

Material / technique: 
Length: 107 cms
Type of acquisition: 
Donated by Baronne Monique della Faille d’Huysse
Year of acquisition: 
Depository institution: 
DIVA – Museum of Silverwork, Jewellery and Diamonds, Antwerp