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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 41

Electrotype Reproductions

Electrotype Reproductions,

The objects forming part of the Regalia preserved in the Tower of London were lent, for the purpose of being reproduced, by the gracious permission of Her Majesty the Queen.

They consist for the most part of plate made at the time of the Restoration, in 1660, to replace, and in some instances to represent, earlier pieces. This seems to be the case with the Ampulla, or Anointing Cruse, the original of which is of pure gold. Its form is antique, evidently derived from an early epoch; but the actual work is of the seventeenth century. The Anointing Spoon, however, which accompanies it, made of silver richly gilt, dates from the early part of the thirteenth century. The sanctity of the anointing oil was, in early ages, deemed of great importance, and various legends were current respecting its discovery and efficacy. These superstitions afforded, no doubt, a special reason why in 1649 the Commissioners of the Parliament destroyed all that they could lay hands on, and were well content to be able to report these ancient and long-valued objects as "broken and defaced." The salt-cellar dates from the time of Queen Elizabeth, and has been called a model of the "White Tower" of London, to which, however, it has little resemblance except in being square and castellated. It was used on the King's table at the coronation of George IV.

The wine fountain, of silver gilt—a large and elaborate piece of English silversmiths' work—was presented to King Charles II. by the Corporation of Plymouth.

The other objects exhibited are from the Royal collection of plate at Windsor Castle, and were also reproduced by permission of Her Majesty the Queen.