Tamlyns 2008 Auction – Lot 054

A set of four silver mounted oak cups modelled in the form of acorns, each engraved with a toast, in Welsh, and inscribed R.W.V. 25th June 1824, bearing two circular silver shields, one engraved with an image of Ceubren yr Ellyll (The Hollow Tree) dated 1813, the other, the arms of Vaughan impaling Mostyn, hallmarked London 1823, maker’s mark I.R within a shaped cartouche, 4.75 inches high, 3.625 inches diameter.

Nannau Schedule of Contents 1958, No.61 “The Ceubren Cups”, Also made from Howel Sele’s Oak. They were used at Robert Vaughan’s Coming of Age celebrations. Each of the acorn shaped Stirrup Cups is inscribed with a different Welsh saying.

“Gwell yw byr a gallu bod, Dan wybr ein Cydnabod; Na gwag gerdded o’m credir, O nwyf taith I newid tir. Cynneddfau Pencenedl, Parchu Goreuon. Cynnorthwyo’r gwam, A moesgar wrth bawb. Lle gwreiddio y Fesen, Llwydded y Dderwen. Llwyddiant I Feirion a’r rhai ai Caro.”

The toasts, all seem to be in a logical sequence, the first is a prayer for the man and the path before him; the second, a straightforward toast to Robert Williames Vaughan himself, the “Pencenedl”, literally “head of the people”; the third translates “A place for the acorn to take root, where the oak succeeded” – This is clearly Nannau; and the last appears to invoke all others “Success to Merionethshire, it’s houses etc.”

Scan and Information Courtesy of Tamlyns.

Stirrup Cup - Image Courtesy of The National Museum of Wales
Stirrup Cup – Image Courtesy of The National Museum of Wales