The Weld Blundell amber cabinet
The Weld Blundell amber cabinet, National Museums Liverpool

Baltic amber was highly prized in the 18th-century decorative arts. Amber is a fossilised resin that is found in many parts of the world, but the highest quality and most sought-after amber comes from the Baltic region, which includes parts of present-day Poland, Russia, and Lithuania.

During the 18th century, Baltic amber was used to create a variety of decorative objects, including jewelry, snuffboxes, and other small decorative items. Amber’s warm golden color and translucency made it a popular choice for artisans and craftsmen, who often carved and polished it into intricate shapes and designs. Amber was also used in combination with other precious materials, such as gold and silver, to create elaborate pieces of jewelry and other decorative objects.

In addition to its decorative value, Baltic amber was also believed to have medicinal properties in the 18th century. It was often ground into a powder and mixed with other substances to create medicinal remedies for a variety of ailments. The use of amber in medicine dates back to ancient times, and it continued to be used for this purpose well into the 18th century.

Today, Baltic amber remains a popular material for jewelry and decorative objects, and it continues to be valued for its unique beauty and historical significance.