Monday, March 17, 2014

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: A Jewelled Pencil Case, 1880-1900

Pencil Case
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Happy St. Patrick's Day!  

I thought, given today is, naturally, associated with all things Irish, I'd show you some objects which relate to Ireland and, in this case, shamrocks.

This sparkling beauty dates between 1880 and 1890 and is a masterpiece of chased gold, rose-cut diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and an opal. The work of an unknown maker, it most assuredly comes from Britain. Though quite sceptre-like, it is actually a case for a pencil. The case is chased and engraved with a rose, a thistle and a shamrock--emblems of the United Kingdom. Even after over a century, the case still contains two spare nibs and three pencil lead fragments.

This oppulent object has been thought to have been made from jewels belonging to King George IV. These jewels may have been worn during George’s 1821 coronation.

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