Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Rupert’s Balls,

 Rupert of Debate.Rupert’s Head (Sir), 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Rupert’s Balls,
 
or Prince Rupert’s Drops. Glass bubbles first brought to England by Prince Rupert. Each bubble has a tail, and if the smallest part of the tail is broken off the bubble explodes. The French term is larme Batavique, because these toys were invented in Holland.   1
        “The first production of an author … is usually esteemed as a sort of Prince Rupert’s drop, which is destroyed entirely if a person make on it but a single scratch.”—Household Words.
 


 Rupert of Debate.Rupert’s Head (Sir), 

 
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