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Portland Vase

A cinerary urn of transparent dark-blue glass, long in possession of the Barberini family. In 1770 it was purchased by Sir William Hamilton, for 1,000 guineas, and cams afterwards into the possession of the Duchess of Portland. In 1810, the Duke of Portland, one of the trustees of the British Museum, allowed it to be placed in that institution for exhibition. William Lloyd, in 1845, dashed it to pieces; it has since been carefully repaired, but is not now shown to the public. It is ten inches high, and six in diameter at the broadest part.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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