The First Oval Case 1749-1783

The sides of this case are beautifully decorated with silver ribbons and medallions.

On the top of the lid an engraving depicts the commemoration of the Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle in 1749 with a great firework display in Green Park and the building of a Temple of Peace.

On the inside bottom there is a portrait of the infamous John Wilkes (1725-1798). He had been a Churchwarden of St. Margaret’s in 1759, but by 1768 he was in gaol, having returned from exile in France. This was an interesting choice of subject.

Inside the lid is an engraving of the inconclusive sea battle off Ushant, with Admiral Keppel in command. In consequence Keppel was accused of cowardice, and brought to a court martial. He was both exonerated and honourably acquitted, and in the engraving he is shown standing on a six-headed beast. This probably represents the defeat of Scylla and therefore his avoidance of Charybdis also