LOUIS OSMAN AND MALCOLM APPLEBY:  A unique and important finely engraved 22 carat gold 'Prince of Wales Cup', by Louis Osman, engraved by Malcolm Appleby, London 1970, with engraved facsimile signiature M A APPLEBY,
Lot 129AR
LOUIS OSMAN AND MALCOLM APPLEBY: A unique and important finely engraved 22 carat gold 'Prince of Wales Cup', with mark for Louis Osman, engraved by Malcolm Appleby, London 1970, also with engraved facsimile signature M A APPLEBY,
Sold for £73,250 (US$ 121,430) inc. premium
Lot Details
LOUIS OSMAN AND MALCOLM APPLEBY: A unique and important finely engraved 22 carat gold 'Prince of Wales Cup',
with mark for Louis Osman, engraved by Malcolm Appleby, London 1970, also with engraved facsimile signature M A APPLEBY,
the vessel was raised by Peter Musgrove from a square base to a circular rim, creating the four sides, these are intricately engraved in varying techniques with fine detail depicting: the attributes and heraldic symbols of the Prince of Wales, vis: a lion rampant gardant facing towards a unicorn rampant regardant with steaming breath issuing from the nostrils, the Prince of Wale's feathered plume sits below and issues from a cross patée and two fleurs-de-lys, above the plume is a rising bird which merges into a beast's head, beside the Unicorn are the three slender vertical feathers for the Black Prince, next to this is a Dragon with a long entwined tail and a sun is rising from behind, the rays of light beaming outwards, one of which is blocked by the unicorns horn, the centre of the tail has a roundel with a faced crescent moon and also a comet with trailing tail, by this corner of the cup is a vertical band engraved in stylised decorative letters 'ICH DIEN', the next side has three corn stooks among a fine stippled ground, very faintly depicting a tiny mountainous scene, a further smaller dragon stands below, also a small feather plume and crown with scrolling stylised text with the motto 'HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE' and running around the lower base 'Y DDRAIG GOCH DDYRY CYCHYN', just below the rim of the vessel is a border of fifteen bezants, their scrolling tips terminating with small fleurs-de-lys, height 7.8cm, diameter at top 6.7cm, weight 433.5gms.


  • Only 50% of the applicable ARR rate applies to this lot.

    Sold with the lot are copies of Malcolm Appleby's transcribed invoices to Louis Osman, dated October and November 1970.
    Malcolm Appleby notes this was made from 24 carat gold and because an assay mark did not exist for this grade the '22' mark had to be used.

    Louis Osman, aged 55, and Malcolm Arthur Appleby, aged 23, worked in conjunction to create the crown for the Investiture of the Prince of Wales on July 1st 1969. The crown was the gift of the Goldsmiths' Company to H.M. The Queen for use at the investiture. In response to the request of Prince Charles for a 'crown of our time,' Osman created a contemporary styled crown and chose Appleby to engrave the orb 'pomum' with the Prince of Wales attributes.

    The engraving of the orb was one of Appleby's earliest professional engagements. Soon after working on the crown the pair worked again to produce this cup, again using the attributes of the Prince of Wales as the basis of the design: the lion, the unicorn, the dragon, the feathers of the Prince of Wales and the Black Prince, the fifteen bezants of Cornwall and the corn stooks representing his title as Earl of Chester.

    With no design drawings Malcolm Appleby engraved directly onto the cup. The work is worth close scrutiny, with many unusual details and hidden stories. For example: the sun is wearing sun glasses; the tiny face by the dragons tail, with clasping hands is similar to Munch's painting "The Scream" but smiling and two finely engraved rats around the corn stooks with the warning 'even in the time of plenty, be aware'.

    This cup was originally exhibited in Louis Osman's 1971 one man show at Goldsmiths Hall along with the Investiture Coronet. A feature in the The Illustrated London News of February 13, 1971 referred to the cup as "the most important and beautiful object in the exhibition and surely destined to become a historic one." It is clear that with this object Malcolm Appleby stole the show.


    Malcolm Appleby was born in West Wickham in Kent in 1946. He studied at Beckenham School of Art, Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, Central School of Art, Sir John Cass School of Art from 1961 to 1966.
    He studied at the Royal College of Art from 1966 to 1968.
    When at the RCA Appleby discovered engraving at John Wilkes Gun & Rifle Makers in Soho. It was at this time he started his career as an engraver and developed new engraving techniques.

    Appleby then moved to Scotland and in 1969 setting up his shop and home at Crathes Station near Banchory.
    This The Prince of Wales cup was Appleby's first work commissioned here. Included in his early works and during the short period he worked with Osman 1968 – 70, Appleby also worked on the engraving the orb on the Prince of Wales Investiture crown and the moon trophy. This was presented to the astronauts who made the first moon landing.

    After this Malcolm Appleby pursued his own interests. Malcolm is a specialist gun engraver and is one of the most outstanding and respected British engravers. Not only using his precision skills engraving, carving and chasing but also with mixing metals.

    Appleby moved from Crathes Station to a home and workshop he designed in Perthshire.
    In 2006 there was a major retrospective of his work at Goldsmiths' Hall.

    We would like to thank Malcolm Appleby for his assistant with these details.

    LOUIS OSMAN (1914 – 1996)

    A distinguished architect, artist and goldsmith. Born in 1914. Osman in 1931 originally trained at the Bartlett School as an architect. He then studied drawing at the Slade School.
    As an architect Osman's work included being part of the re-building of the bomb damaged Coventry,
    In 1956 he turned to goldsmithing and jewellery, being much influenced by Graham Hughes and Gerald Benney.
    Mainly working from commissions Osman's work had that handmade appearance.

Saleroom notices

  • Artists Resale Rights (ARR) applies to this lot at only 50% of the applicable ARR rate. This comes with photocopies of correspondance between Louis Osman and Malcolm Appleby discussing the 'Prince of Wales Cup'.
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