Thursday, February 27, 2014

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: Peppermill with Cipher of George III, 1761

Peppermill with Cipher of
George III
Tortoiseshell, Silver, Steel
The Royal Collection

King George III had a distinct distaste for opulent dining and did not enjoy public banquets and dinners. He much preferred sharing a simple supper of mutton, cold turkey, fried oysters and custard with Queen Charlotte in his bedchamber. Toward the end of his life, as he became slightly more--shall we say—peculiar, he liked to eat alone at 2:00.

However, just because he preferred a simple meal at a small table, didn’t mean he wanted to just use any old china or service. Between 1761 and 1762, George commissioned a new, magnificent set of silver (partially gilt) for use at his private table. Part of the order was this peppermill. The vessel is crafted of tortoiseshell and silver with a silver inset of George III’s cipher. The blades of the grinder are made of steel. Though slightly worn from use, the peppermill is in excellent condition and is a nifty little reminder of George III and what probably amounts to hundreds upon hundreds of fried oysters.

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