Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Unusual Artifacts: King George III’s Egg Boiler, 1804

The royal eggs, of course, must be boiled to perfection. One wouldn’t want the yolks too firm nor too runny. Even with an expertly staffed palace, sometimes a king has to take control of his own life. After all, you can’t trust just anyone to boil your eggs.

And, so, we have King George III’s personal egg boiler. This silver-gilt egg boiler was the centerpiece of an elaborate breakfast set presented to the king by his daughters on the occasion of his sixty-sixth birthday on June 4, 1804. A flame housed in the chamber underneath kept the water boiling. And, certainly, to ensure perfection, the piece is mounted with an egg timer. George III did actually use this quite often. With its gilt cabriole legs, engraved royal insignia and serpentine handles, this little item is as much of a work of art as it was useful.

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