This service may have been made for the birth of Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire’s first child. Caudle was a milk drink, served warm and enriched with spices and alcohol and given to new mothers to revive and nourish them in the days following birth. The cup sits securely in the saucer making it harder to tip over, the cover keeping the contents warm.

The service is embellished in gold decorated with stylised marine fossils much like the crinoid stone sourced locally from Once-a-week quarry, perhaps demonstrating Georgiana’s interest in minerals. 

A later cup decorated in the same style has the monogram ED for Elizabeth the 5th Duke of Devonshire’s second wife. Elizabeth also gave birth to the Duke’s children but as his unmarried mistress had to go abroad to have her babies, perhaps this cup was made once they were married so that she could have something of the luxury and care she felt she should have had when a new mother.

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