Jewels for the Royals
While Dolly Madison, wife to our president, was probably one of the
most ostentatious owners of jewelry on the American scene, we
Colonists can not compete with Europe and other countries when it
comes to owning jewelry, and silver, and sliver plate.
I’ve been looking at stuff from the Jewels of Queen Elizabeth through the
Crown Jewels…all of it stunning…and gorgeous…but somehow…all
lacking in “ooomph.” Yeah yeah…there’s the Cullinan in the Scepter and
all that. But everyone’s heard of the Cullinan. What have you all not
heard of, I ask. Why…The Grand Punch Bowl…of course. And the ladle
that goes with it.
In 1829, George IV, a bit of an indulgent chap who easily gave himself up
to women and wine, and did not know the meaning of faithfulness, neither
to his wives nor to his mistresses…in 1829 old Georgie was given The
Wine Cistern, or Grand Punch Bowl, by the Crown Jewellers of the day. It
is the punch bowl’s weight that makes it amazing. It is presently the
heaviest piece of English Plate around, and it weighs about 8000 ounces.
That’s 500 pounds, or a quarter of a ton, for those of you who left their
calculators at the office. Bacchanalian scenes adorn the upper section,
the bottom half is encrusted with rocks and shells and other forms of
marine life. Its size, in order to get perspective, is 30 inches high,
54.5 inches long, and 40 inches wide.
How much wine could a wine cistern hold if a wine cistern held some
wine? Try 144 bottles. Enough, I would say, for a substantial outdoor
barbecue. And if not that, then it could be used to hold enough punch to
slake the thirst of guests who came to celebrate the christening of Albert
Edward, Prince of Wales. Of course, it goes without saying, that you can’t
have a punch bowl without a ladle of some sort. Royalty agreed with this
line of thought.
So…in 1841, a ladle was made, out of ivory and silver gilt, in the
form of a large conch shell, to suit the bowl. So then…that said,
what else can one say about a punch bowl. Not much folks, which makes this
article short. However, I do have glad tidings. I have a picture of the
bowl and the ladle for you all to look at. To my Home Page! Vite vite.
Down to Tidbits in table menu. To graphics…and Click!
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
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