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Friday, 29 June, 2001, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Rare Jacobite mug sells for 23,000
mug
The porcelain mug fetched three times its price tag
A rare Jacobite mug, made in the 1750s and inspired by Bonnie Prince Charlie has sold at auction for more than three times the expected price.

The treasure will stay in Britain after a London trader fought-off a bid from an American collector specialising in Jacobite ceramics.

But the mug could still face the threat of exile abroad if the trader sells it on to a foreign bidder.

The 1753-piece is a work of rebellion by supporters of the Young Pretender against English domination and would have resulted in the artist's execution.

Bonnie Prince Charlie
The mug celebrates Bonnie Prince Charlie

Mr Jeremy Lamond, fine art director of Halls auctioneers in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, said the sale price was not unexpected.

"This is a very rare object. It could've gone for any price because it's not going to come up again in a lifetime," he said.

The mug was made six years after the Battle of Culloden where the English army heavily defeated the Highland Jacobites led by Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The rout forced the Prince to flee to France and the English Government banned Scotsmen from carrying arms or wearing tartan.

Breaking the ban was punishable by death.

The salt-glazed stoneware mug depicts Scotsmen, wearing kilts and tam-o-shanters, who are brandishing daggers and shields.

Culloden
Culloden battlefield where the Jacobites were routed
"If this had been on public display at the time somebody would've been for the high jump," said Mr Lamond.

The Prince is thought to have made a secret visit to Britain in 1753 and the mug may well have been made to celebrate the occasion.

The item was found by chance by the previous owner, Eileen Croft.

'Real find'

The mug had been sitting unnoticed on a dresser at her home in Dartmouth, Devon, for decades.

"She actually wanted to put the mug into a sale in place of a piece of silverware," said Mr Lamond.

"The silverware was worth 150 and we quickly told her the mug may be worth 10,000 so advised her not to sell it until we could do more research.

"It is one of those real finds."

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See also:

24 Feb 01 | Scotland
Culloden letters stay in Scotland
23 Sep 00 | Scotland
Rob Roy letter sells for 14,000
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