On 12 August 1762, King George IV of England was born. His father (George III), with whom he had a terrible relationship, forced him to marry his cousin, Caroline of Brunswick, whom he hated as much as his father. They had one child, Charlotte, after which he kept his wife as far away from himself as possible. He didn’t even allow her to attend his eventual coronation!
Instead, he took comfort in the arms of other women, most notoriously, Mrs. Maria Fitzherbert—twice widowed and a Catholic—with whom he is believed to have been secretly married. He spent much time with her in the seaside resort of Brighton and commissioned John Nash to design the fanciful (and expensive) Royal Pavilion which stands there to this day.
While George IV is known more for his dissolute lifestyle and lack of national leadership, he did leave behind a legacy of art, architecture and design. He played a major role in the foundation of the National Gallery, amongst the best art museums in the world.
The heavy brass mortar and pestle, above, was made during the Georgian period. Imagine a frustrated Queen Caroline of Brunswick using it to mix-up a love potion for her wayward husband!
Click on the photo to learn more about this handsome piece.
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