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The interior is almost certainly imaginary (as opposed to being specifically of Whitehall Palace), although the event itself could have been witnessed by Houckgeest, who seems to have been at the English court sometime during the mid-1630s. Charles I owne

The ritual of public dining and its trappings in the time of Charles II

Unknown Person

Basin c.1660-61

3.2 x 52.7 cm (whole object) | RCIN 100006

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Royal dining at the Stuart court was a magnificent affair. When the king dined in public, he would be seated alone at a table, served by members of the court, and watched by spectators. The courtiers served the king on knee and the rituals of dining followed a prescribed course. The washing of the hands, a solemn epilogue to the meal, was carefully choreographed. The ewer was usually filled with rosewater. Ewer and basin sets appear in the 1687 inventory of plate cared for by the Gentlemen of the Ewry, those responsible for the supply of linen to the royal table. Unfortunately, this basin had lost its original accompanying ewer by 1690. A replacement was later supplied.

  • Creator(s)

    Unknown Person (goldsmith)

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    Rundell Bridge & Rundell (retailer)

    England (place of production)

  • 3.2 x 52.7 cm (whole object)

  • Made for Charles II; 1808, sold to Rundell, Bridge & Rundell from whom purchased by William Beckford; 4 June 1953, sold (anonymously) Christie's (lot 380), where purchased by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.