Tortoiseshell and gold notebook case and pencil, applied with pierced floral scroll border, crown and C monogram set with brilliants at centre; spine in rose and yellow gold with bright cut panels imitating book spine. Gold clasp securing pierced pencil.
The elaborate rocaille gold mounts and crowned diamond cipher of Queen Charlotte on the tortoiseshell case suggest that this was made in the early years of her reign. The Queen however appears never to have written in this sumptuous object: the notebook inside, bound in red morocco, remains unused. The small number of the Queen’s historical and religious notes which do survive, together with her diaries of 1789 and 1793-4 in the Royal Archives, are all written in simple paper-bound notebooks.
It is not known how this notebook came to leave the Collection. It is not identifiable in the catalogue of the 1819 sale of the Queen’s possessions. It re-entered the Collection in the early twentieth century when it was given to Queen Mary by Lady Mount Stephen, her lifelong friend and an enthusiastic supporter of her passion for reacquiring royal relics.
Catalogue entry adapted from George III & Queen Charlotte: Patronage, Collecting and Court Taste, London, 2004
Made for Queen Charlotte, c.1761-1770; Lady Mount Stephen; by whom presented to Queen Mary before 1920.
Exhibited at Schloss Güstrow, Schwerin, Germany, in '1000 Jahre Mecklenburg', 1995, p338, no 6.28
Exhibited at the Queen's Gallery, in 'George III Collector and Patron', 1974-5, p64, no.105