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Detail showing decorated christmas trails on tables

Christmas in the Royal Collection

Prince Albert (1819-61)

Centrepiece hallmarks 1842/3

RCIN 1570

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After the presents were exchanged on Christmas Eve, the table would be laid for a feast on Christmas Day.

This centrepiece was designed by Prince Albert and the court silversmiths Garrards. It shows Prince Albert's interest in Renaissance design, and also features Albert's greyhound Eos, and Queen Victoria's terriers Islay and Cairnach, and the dachshund Waldmann.

The central dish of the Victorian Christmas feast was always a joint of roast beef.  This would be supplemented by many other courses which included roast turkey and a boar’s head, as well as more exotic dishes such as turbot, carp, woodcock, capercaillie with chipolatas or roast swan, followed by mince pies, jellies, blancmange and chocolate soufflé.

Prince Albert's close interest in design led to first-hand participation on several occasions. This centrepiece was his first collaboration with the firm of Garrards, and it seems that the combination of an Italian Renaissance-style tazza and models of fo

Centrepiece ©