A rock crystal ewer, Italian, Miseroni workshop, circa 1600.

 Mounted with enamelled gold in the 17th Century, possibly in England, and set with rubies, spinels, a garnet and diamonds, the helmet-shaped bowl is engraved with leafy scrolls, fruit and swags, and with a handle of angular section; the mount to the handle, front of the bowl and foot are pierced and enriched with white, blue and black enamel and set with stones. The body of the ewer is cracked and the later mount on the front covers a large area of engraving, so the bowl may already have been cracked and this was to conceal it. The goldsmith’s work is of superior quality and the ewer includes the only known cameo carved on a precious stone of Queen Elizabeth I. Height 18cm, width 8cm, depth 17.5cm.
It appears in the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, the inventory of an enormous bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter, which lists under ‘Christalls Garnisht and plaine’: ‘A Christall Ewer Garnisht with Diamonds and Rubies one of the Rubies being Queen Elizabeth’s head’.


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