The helmet-shaped bowl of the ewer, which is engraved with leafy scrolls, fruit and swags, was mounted with enamelled gold and set with rubies, spinels, a garnet and diamonds in the 17th Century, possibly in England.
The goldsmith’s work is of superior quality and includes a superb cameo of Queen Elizabeth I carved on a ruby.
Height 18cm, width 8cm, depth 17.5cm.
The ewer appears in the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, an inventory recording an enormous bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689), to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703).
Under the heading ‘Christalls Garnisht and plaine’: ‘A Christall Ewer Garnisht with Diamonds and Rubies one of the Rubies being Queen Elizabeth’s head’.