It's time to pour the gin, roast something tasty and welcome rogues, harlots and peers alike to the salon because the year has rolled round and it's my birthday once more. I mused a little over the tale I might tell today and eventually settled on one with a birthday flavour, so without further ado I present a little something on Bonnie Prince Charlie's silver travelling canteen!
This beautiful 31 piece canteen was made by the splendidly-monikered Ebenezer Oliphant of Edinburgh in 1740-1 and was owned by Prince Charles Edward Stuart. It is thought the set was presented to the prince for his 21st birthday gift and what a wonderful gift it would have been!
The silver gilt canteen is richly adorned with images of thistles and foliage representing the Collar and Badge of the Order of the Thistle as well as the Prince of Wales's feathers. It holds a variety of implements for civilised dining on the go including a nutmeg grater, salt and pepper shaker, two wine goblets and a corkscrew. One can see that Charlie must have been a chap of fashionable tastes as there is no suggestion of subtlety about this glorious piece, no suggestion of slumming it on the road.
The canteen remained in Charlie's possession until, in 1746, it was seized at Culloden by William, Duke of Cumberland and Bonnie Prince Charlie never saw his 21st birthday present again!
Life in the Georgian Court, true tales of 18th century royalty, is available at the links below.