A rare enamel, gold and gem-set book, circa 1620-30.

The decoration has rosettes of white enamel centred by rubies and diamonds; the sides with stylised leaves around a hinged clasp, length 6.8cm, depth 1.4cm.

Despite its date, the book, which is probably English, is traditionally called Queen Elizabeth’s Pocket Book.

It came to Burghley as part of a massive bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689), to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703).

The bequest is recorded in an inventory known as the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, or Deed of Gift, which lists: ‘One Table Booke  Enamel’d sett with Diamonds and Rubies in Roses.’


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