the ogee bowl with finely engraved scene of King Charles in the boughs of an oak tree with three crowns suspended from the branches, raised on a multi enamel twist stem and on a slightly domed circular foot
Height: 15.6cm, diameter of rim: 5.1cm, diameter of foot: 7.1cm
Estimate £ 4,000-6,000 + fees

Note: The use of the oak tree in Jacobite symbolism is not rare and is used in various forms. Whether the oak leaf (a symbol of the Stuart Clan), the acorn (showing mighty things start from small beginnings) or even the stricken oak with its green shoots emanating (showing that things can be re-born from considered lost causes). However, the symbolism of the Boscobel Oak tree goes far deeper within Stuart history and legends.

The story of the Boscobel Oak goes back to the Stuart monarch King Charles II who, during the Commonwealth uprising and after the battle of Worchester in 1651, had to flee for his life. With Cromwellian forces in pursuit, he and Colonel William Careless tried to make their escape only to have to hide in the boughs of an ancient oak tree. Safe in this hiding place, they made their escape afterwards.

The story became so important to Royalists and Stuarts alike that the tree became a revered place and the story a legend. This culminated in the original Boscobel Oak being cut down and turned into souvenirs after the Restoration of the monarchy and beyond, as far as Victorian times. It is said that the oak tree which now stands in its place grew from an acorn of the original.

The iconography of this glass not only shows the tree, a symbol of the Stuart monarch but, importantly, the three crowns to which he laid claim: England, Scotland and Ireland. The potent symbolism demonstrates the original owners' strong allegiance to the Jacobite cause and the rightful monarchy.

These Boscobel Oak glasses are an extremely rare type of Jacobite glass and among the finest quality of their type to survive. On comparison with the few others recorded, the current example appears to be by the most accomplished engraver.

Sold for £10,625 (buyer's premium included)