An unrecorded early English delft wine bottle bearing the cipher of Queen Henrietta Maria circa 1643
Lot 88
An unrecorded early English delft wine bottle bearing the cipher of Queen Henrietta Maria circa 1643-45
Sold for £60,000 (US$ 97,362) inc. premium

Lot Details
An unrecorded early English delft wine bottle bearing the cipher of Queen Henrietta Maria circa 1643 An unrecorded early English delft wine bottle bearing the cipher of Queen Henrietta Maria circa 1643
An unrecorded early English delft wine bottle bearing the cipher of Queen Henrietta Maria
circa 1643-45
The simple pear shaped body with a loop handle richly glazed all over with a powdered ground of mixed manganese and blue, the front reserved with a shaped panel outlined with one thick and one thin blue line, painted with the formal cipher HMR beneath a crown in blue, the neck and footrim of the bottle edged with blue lines, 16cm high (a fine crack in the body and minor chips to foot only)

Footnotes

  • The crowned cipher HMR is the emblem of Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I. Only one other bottle with a powdered manganese ground and a royal cipher is known-- the example bearing the crowned CR of Charles I, sold in these rooms, Bonhams 8 December 2004, lot 187. Another bottle with a coat of arms in blue on a powdered manganese ground was in the Rous Lench collection, Christie's 29 May 1990, lot 28. A wine bottle in the Museum of London has all-over powdered manganese apart from a blue edge to the rim and foot, see Frank Britton, London Delftware (1987), p. 121, fig. 68. A slightly later jug, dated 1659 in the City Museum, Salford has a mixed blue and manganese powdered ground similar to the present example, and this is reserved with a heart shaped panel edged with one thick and one thin blue line. The Salford jug, which also shares the feature of the rim and foot edged in blue, is illustrated by Lipski and Archer, fig. 972. Several white glazed wine bottles are recorded painted in blue with crowns placed above the cipher CR, bearing dates 1644, 1648 or 1649. Bottles with a crown alone, without the King's cipher, are recorded with dates of 1642, 1643, 1645 and 1648.

    King Charles I had married Henrietta Maria in 1625 although her refusal to renounce her Catholic faith initially made her unpopular in England. In February 1642, when the Civil War looked inevitable, Henrietta Maria took refuge in Holland where she financed an army to fight for her husband. To raise the necessary funds, Henrietta Maria sold her jewellery and she also had rings and other jewels made bearing her personal cipher H.M.R. which she gave to supporters in exchange for money to help her cause. She returned to England in February 1643. Adopting the title 'Her She-Majesty, Generalissima', Henrietta led her army from York to Oxford where she was reunited with King Charles. She remained at Oxford until the following year when she withdrew to Exeter and then in July 1644 she fled to France with her children. She did not return to England until after the Restoration, living at Somerset House as 'Queen Mother' from 1660-1665. This wine bottle, bearing the crowned cipher of Henrietta Maria, is most likely to date from 1643-44 when it would have been made for her Royalist supporters
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