Crown for the King of Ardra, anonymous, c. 1664
Although impressive, this crown is actually made of inexpensive materials. It was meant to be a gift from the English to the king of Adra on the west coast of Africa. The English (as well as the Dutch) used such diplomatic incentives to foster the trade in enslaved Africans. The crown, however, never reached the king. Admiral Michiel de Ruyter seized it while on a mission to expel the English from the Dutch fortresses on the African coast.