The Burgundian Treasure
After the extraordinary defeat of Charles the Bold and his troops on March 2, 1476, an amazing loot fell prey to the Confederates. Why did the Burgundians carry such treasures with them into the battle? And what became of these valuable pieces?
The Burgundian state was particularly wealthy and the Dukes of Burgundy desired to show those in attendance with great pretension the power of their dynasty in anticipation for the title of King, of which Charles the Bold aspired.
The fate of the booty in the hands of the Confederates
This loot comprised jewels, silver ware, tapestries, items for religious use, such as reliquaries, ostensoria, prayer books, and finally, arms, cannon, standards, tents and robes, live cattle, etc.
The arms were placed in arsenals and the flags and banners were hung in churches as glorious proof of victory.
The Confederates certainly had not expected to find such treasures and soon experienced disciplinary strife as vast illegal trafficking ensued.
With each one trying to reap a profit from this loot, many precious pieces were broken up to be sold in small bits. An inventory was drawn up at the time and deposited in Luzern, but this documented only a small part of the loot.