|Queen Mary II|
Patches were, quite fashionably, reused and stored in boxes on a lady’s vanity. Patch Boxes, as they were called, were often crafted by jewelers who indulged in the use of the finest stones and metals. Queen Mary II(1662-1694), the Queen Regnant who ruled alongside King William III, began wearing patches in the last year of her life despite a statement made by the Bishop of Gloucester that the queen, “Did not entertain such childish vanities as spotted faces.” And, perhaps, she normally wouldn’t have. However, during her thirty-second year of life, she mysteriously began adding patches to her daily routine. As it turns out, she’d contracted smallpox which had left her face scarred and in need of covering…oh, yes, and also killed her.
Presented to Queen Mary II in 1694
Gold, Enamel and Diamonds
The Royal Collection
Upon her death, this item, along with much of her jewelry, was bequeathed to friends and family and fell out of possession of The Royal Collection. In 1963, it reappeared at an auction at Christie’s in London where Queen Elizabeth II purchased it and brought it back into the Royal Family.