A fine example of a rare Jacobite box, the white metal frame gilded within, the base inset with a plain, unadorned piece of oak, whereas that to the hinged lid is inlaid with silver-coloured metal fashioned and engraved as to represent Charles II hiding in the Boscobel oak, an angel offering him the Crown. To either side of the oak tree is seen a pair of horsemen within the landscape and below all is a ribbon engraved with the motto 'SACRA IOVI QUERCUS' ('Oak Sacred to Jupiter', referencing Ovid's mythological epic, Metamorphoses.) The piece of oak to the base is backed with gilded metal and set within a rubbed-over bezel. English, early or mid 17th century. 3.25 in x 2.5 in x 5/8 in
Several boxes of this type are known, all commemorating the escape of Charles II from the parliamentary forces after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. In 1680 Samuel Pepys recorded Charles’ story of hiding in an oak tree whilst a Parliamentarian soldier passed directly below. It is believed that these boxes were made from the original Boscobel oak tree in which Charles II hid; a descendant now marks the site.
With regards to age, some of these boxes are recorded as being made during the reign of Queen Anne but they may in fact be Jacobite objects made as late as 1745, the time of the Jacobite Rebellion when Charles Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie or The Young Pretender) attempted to regain the British throne. The form and structure of this example would support this later date.
18th Century & Earlier
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