Royal Oak Goblet
The front is engraved with the head of Charles II of England superimposed on the branches of an oak tree along with the words ROYAL OAK. Engraved on the sides are portraits of Charles II and his wife, Catherine of Braganza, and on the back the coat of arms of Charles II, the words DIEV ET MON DROIT (God and my right), and the date 1663.
Artist/maker unknown, English. Made by the glass factory of George Villiers, London or Greenwich, England.
The decoration on this glass--known as the “Royal Oak Goblet”--almost certainly refers to the marriage of Charles II (1630–1685) of England and Catherine of Braganza in 1662. The unusual medallion on the front refers to an incident in 1651 when, after his defeat by Oliver Cromwell’s forces at the Battle of Worcester, Charles II took refuge at a Royalist’s estate in Shropshire, spending some time hiding in a large oak tree that afterward became known as the “royal oak.”
Likely made in one of three glass factories supported by George Villiers, second Duke of Buckingham (1628–1687) and an advisor to Charles II, the goblet is thought to have been a gift from Buckingham to the royal couple in honor of their union. It descended in the Rouse family of Devon until the nineteenth century; family tradition relates that it was given by Charles II to Thomas Rouse (died 1693), perhaps for his support of the Royalist cause.
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