Tamlyns 2008 Auction – Lot 003

Ceubren yr Ellyll – A silver mounted oak cup, inscribed “Ceubren yr Ellyll a Syrthiodd i Lawr yr 28 ain O Orphenaf 1813” (the Hollow Tree of the Demon which fell on the 28th of July 1813), bearing two circular silver shields, one engraved with an image of the oak tree, the other, the arms of Williames – Vaughan, motto “ASGRE LAN DIOGEL EI PHERCHEN” (A Pure Conscience is a Safeguard to it’s Possessor), hallmarked London 1816, maker’s mark T.P, I.P, within a shaped cartouche, probably for Thomas & James Phipps II, slight body crack due to shrinkage, 12.5 inches high, 6.75 inches diameter.

The underside of the foot inscribed “See Pennants Tour of Wales, Vol.1, p.348.” Made from the Oak tree on Tynyllyn, the estate of Sir Robert Williames Vaughan of Nannau, Merioneth, in which Owain Glyndwr reputedly entombed Howel Sele in 1400.

According to the legend, in the early 15th century, Hywel Sele, 8th Lord of Nannau, a loyal supporter of Henry IV, was a bitter enemy of his rebel cousin Owain Glyndwr. While out hunting together at Nannau, Owain killed Hywel, and concealed his body in a hollow oak where it remained undiscovered for forty years. An oak tree linked to this legend blew down in a fearful gale at Nannau on the 28th of July 1813. Pennant, Thomas, A Tour of Wales. 1781. Roberts, Mary. A., Ruins and Old Trees. 1843. Thornbury, G.W., The Demon Oak. A Welsh Legend. 1851.

Scan and Information Courtesy of Tamlyns.