The Eleanor of Aquitaine Vase

  • George T. Beech
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


A rare, if not unique, example of a surviving personal possession of the best-known English queen of the twelfth century is the so-called Eleanor of Aquitaine vase, in the Louvre Museum in Paris.1 This pear-shaped vessel of rock crystal (a semi-precious form of quartz), 37.3 cm in height, is mounted on a circular base of silver and gold on which has been carved a semi-abstract floral design encrusted with jewels. Topping the vase is a second metallic mounting that gradually tapers in three distinct stages of similar design to a narrow opening at the top. A projecting hinge indicates that originally it could be closed by a cap, now lost.


Twelfth Century Eleventh Century Famous People Rock Crystal Personal Possession 
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Copyright information

© John Carmi Parsons and Bonnie Wheeler 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • George T. Beech

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