The decoration seen here includes the Bavarian flag composed of turquoise and rose-cut diamonds, while the reverse is set with an under carved rock crystal panel with a Peacock in full plume. Although Ludwig was known most famously as the Swan King, another favourite animal of the King’s was the Peacock. Around 1870, Ludwig stepped back from politics and focused on passion projects, including the King’s House on Schachen. Built between 1869-1872, Ludwig used the house as a venue for birthdays and anniversaries. Most notably, he decorated one room, called the “Turkish Room” in an elaborately Oriental style, and included a replica of the Famous Peacock Throne. The Peacock Throne was an extravagantly jewelled throne used by Mughal Emperors in India. Peacocks, with their ostentatious brightly coloured plumage, served as a brilliant decorative motif that fit Ludwig’s lavish aesthetic.
King Ludwig II was born at Nymphenburg Castle, outside Munich, on August 25th, 1845. He had just turned 18 when he ascended the Bavarian throne following the death of his father. One of the first acts of his reign was to invite Richard Wagner to his court in Munich. Ludwig II is perhaps best remembered as the great composer's patron and for the commission and the construction of several extravagant fantasy castles: Neuschwanstein – a dramatic Romanesque fortress with soaring fairy-tale towers whose walls are decorated with frescos depicting scenes from Wagner's operas; Linderhof – an ornate palace in neo-French Rococo style with handsome formal gardens; and Herrenchiemsee – a replica of the main building of the Palace of Versailles.
By 1885, Ludwig's extravagant projects put him in serious debt. His ministers started seeking a cause to depose him by constitutional means. They finally decided that he was mentally ill and unable to rule. Ludwig was arrested and transported to Castle Berg on the shores of Lake Starnberg. The day after, the King's body was found in the shallow water. His mysterious death remains unsolved to this day.
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