|Baby's First Outing|
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
The new little prince, along with two loving parents, and, eventually the throne of England, will have access to one of the most important collections of art and jewelry in the world. Among the items in the Royal Collection is this adorable enamel and porcelain plaque entitled "Baby's First Outing." I thought that this would be an appropriate object for today and is the first of several "Royal Baby" items I've found today to share with you throughout the rest of the week.
The only good thing about my recent absence (well, aside from being kept at my parents' house where I was provided with three hot meals a day--a rare treat indeed) was that I could lie about and anticipate the arrival of the new Prince. As a historian whose main focus is the lives of the British monarchs from George III onward, I found this quite fascinating.
I'd like to take this moment to thank everyone for their wishes for a speedy recovery and understanding my sudden disappearance. No one expects a careless driver to decide that she's going to turn into oncoming traffic. On Friday, we're going to belatedly celebrate the fourth anniversary of Stalking the Belle Époque with dignified fanfare, some totally undignified goofiness, a tasty "Tale of Two Sundays" treat of the Week, and some Punchinello antics.
However, for now, let's get back to this dear enamel piece.
Created by Carl Meinelt (active 1852-86) between 1853-73, the enamel on porcelain plaque was first recorded at Queen Victoria's summer residence, Osborne House, in 1876. This was just the sort of object which would have appealed to Victoria who liked babies (but loathed being pregnant).
The plaque depicts a young woman in full-length standing on a grassy hillside with her new baby cradled in her arms. Said baby is shielded from the sun by a gauze veil and protected by a striped green shawl.