Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gifts of Grandeur: The Thirteen Miniatures Gold Box, 1850-61

God Box with Thirteen Miniatures
Commissioned by Queen Victoria
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II
This glorious gold presentation box was set with thirteen miniature paintings by William Charles Bell (1831-1904), William Essex (1784-1869) between 1850 and 1861.
The miniatures show: Queen Victoria; Princess Victoria (×2); Prince Albert Edward; Princess Alice; Prince Alfred; Princess Helena (×2); Princess Louise (×2); Prince Arthur; Princess Beatrice; and Prince William of Prussia

Each is rendered in enamel. They are mounted on a rounded rectangular gold box with hinged lid. The whole of the box is covered with etched tendrils and Tudor roses on a trellis.

Each enamel miniature was given as a gift by Queen Victoria to Prince Albert in commemoration of their wedding anniversary, 10 February 1859. They were mounted on the box after the Prince Consort’s death in 1861.

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