Bonhams to sell 17th century dish showing Charles II hiding in royal oak

Fine British Pottery, Porcelain & Enamels
1 May 2013
London, New Bond Street

A very rare 17th century Staffordshire slipware dish commemorating a famous episode in British history is to be sold at Bonhams, New Bond Street on 1 May as part of the Fine British Pottery, Porcelain and Enamels Sale.

Estimated at £45,000-60,000, it depicts the moment in the English Civil War when the 21 year old Charles II hid in a huge oak tree in Boscobel House, Shropshire to escape the attentions of marauding Roundheads. He had been soundly beaten the day before at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651 by Cromwell's New Model Army and remained perched in the tree for several hours until the danger passed. With the Civil War effectively over, Charles gave up the struggle to regain the throne and escaped to mainland Europe where he lived until the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.

The tale of the Royal Oak gripped the public imagination and Pepys recorded in his diary that the King has related it to him personally. The dish was made by William Talor in the early 1680s and is only one of four dishes by the potter on this theme to have survived.

The dish was in the collection of Frank Faulkner whose love of early Staffordshire ware helped establish a market for early pottery figures which had previously been neglected. The Royal Oak slip ware dish has been in the Faulkner family for nearly a century.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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