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German

Tankard c.1678

Silver gilt, amethyst, diamond, sapphire, pink sapphire, emerald, turquoise, enamel | 29.0 x 20.0 x 15.8 cm | RCIN 50602

Lantern Lobby, Windsor Castle

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This elaborate tankard is decorated with St George coins and turquoises, rubies, emeralds and diamonds. Its cast handle is formed from a grotesque dragon with a large head and diamond-mounted claws. The base of the tankard is inset with a coin.

Tankards inset with coins were typically produced in northern Germany, but the inset jewels and unusual handle are far from characteristic. The tankard was sold at Frederick, Duke of York's sale in 1827 but it was later reworked by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell for George IV. The jewels and the British crown-shaped finial containing a very large Siberian amethyst were added to suit the king's decadent tastes.