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Bringing the wider world to a princely court

? Vienna

Ewer c. 1730

Rock crystal, silver gilt, peridot, rubies, colourless topaz | 30 cm x 17.4 cm x 10.7 cm | RCIN 50551

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This rock crystal ewer is believed to have come from the Closet of Queen Caroline at Kensington Palace. Caroline was the first member of the royal family to introduce a regulated series of closet rooms into a British royal residence.

The main Closet contained miniature portraits of the royal families of Europe, as well as carved waxes, ivories, drawings, watercolours, small paintings and carved stone reliefs to establish the Hanoverian claim to the throne and to emphasise the credentials of George II and Caroline of Ansbach themselves.

The Library (another of the closet rooms) contained atlases and books of history and philosophy, as well as cabinets used to hold the queen's collections of naturalia – branches of red and white coral, shells and a stuffed hummingbird and artificialia – cups and boxes in crystal as well as agate, bloodstone, onyx and lapis lazuli. It is in this latter cabinet that this object would have been found.