Elizabeth Ist coat of arms

The Color Purple

Queen Elizabeth Ist

"Queen Elizabeth Ist"

The Color Purple The Meaning of the color Purple
The color and material used in Elizabethan Clothing was extremely important. People who could wear the color Purple was dictated by English Law. These were called the Sumptuary Laws. The colors of Elizabethan clothes, including the color Purple, provided information about the status of the man or woman wearing them.

This was not just dictated by the wealth of the person, it also reflected their social standing. The meaning of colors during the Elizabethan era represented many aspects of their life - the social, religious, biblical and Christian symbolism was reflected in the color Purple.

The Symbolic and Religious Meaning of the color Purple
Some interesting facts and information about the symbolic, religious, Christian and Biblical meaning of the color Purple

  • Purple is always associated with Royalty
  • Purple togas were worn by the all powerful Roman Emperors
  • The symbolic meaning of the color purple was for penitence and mourning
  • Purple also has a Christian / Biblical meaning and is the liturgical color for the seasons of Lent and Advent

The Symbolic and Religious Meaning of the color Purple
Some interesting facts and information about the symbolic, religious, Christian and Biblical meaning of the color Purple

  • Purple is always associated with Royalty
  • Purple togas were worn by the all powerful Roman Emperors
  • The symbolic meaning of the color purple was for penitence and mourning
  • Purple also has a Christian / Biblical meaning and is the liturgical color for the seasons of Lent and Advent
  • Only the most expensive dyes were used to produce the color purple, it therefore became symbolic with wealth and power
  • People who were allowed to wear the color purple during the Elizabethan era, as decreed by the English Sumptuary Laws, were the Queen, Queen's mother, children, and sisters, and aunts. The King, King's mother, children, brethren, and uncles

The Dye used to produce the color Purple
Some interesting facts and information about the dyes used to produce the color. The purple color was produced from an extremely expensive dye called Tyrian purple which originated in Tyre in Lebanon (William Shakespeare wrote the play Pericles, Prince of Tyre). The Phoenicians owned the monopoly on this purple dye which was was made by crushing thousands of sea shells - Mediterranean Murex. It took ten thousand Murex mollusks to make dye just one toga. This purple dye was worth more than its weight in gold and therefore came to symbolise both wealth and power. Production of Tyrian purple almost ceased with the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and was replaced by other cheaper dyes like lichen and madder.

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