Rare pottery goat crafted by King Charles during university sells for £11,407

Charles Hanson with the pottery goat made by King Charles more than 50 years ago.
-Credit: (Image: SWNS)

A pottery goat crafted by King Charles during his time as a university student has sold at auction for over £11,000. The ceramic animal was presented to Raymond Patten 55 years ago by his great aunt, who served as a cook at Cambridge University during the King's studies from 1967 to 1970.

Believed to be the only known piece of pottery by the monarch in existence, the goat sparked a bidding war before being acquired by a private American buyer today, June 4. The newly-discovered artwork went for £8,500, with the premium-inclusive total reaching £11,407 at Hansons Auctioneers in Staffordshire.

Retired carpenter Raymond, 76, from British Columbia, Canada, received the pottery as a 21st birthday gift. He stated that he "treasured" it throughout his life but decided to part with the Royal piece due to its "historical significance." It is believed that the future monarch may have been inspired to create the yellow, pink, and brown striped sculpture by the goat mascot of The Royal Regiment of Wales.

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Raymond said: "My Aunt Nellie, Helen Patten, gave me the goat on my 21st birthday on June 22, 1969. She told me Prince Charles had made it. She was proud of the fact he attended Cambridge University in the late 1960s when she worked as a cook for the president of Queen's College. I believe she knew the future king on a personal basis. I have treasured the goat all my life."

Raymond's aunt, who passed away at the age of 87 in 1993 in Cheshire, used to live at 37 Norfolk Terrace, Cambridge. His grandfather's sister, she never married but was 'honoured' to serve members of the Royal family, even once cooking a meal for the Queen Mother.

Charles Hanson, owner of the auction house, was 'delighted' with the outcome and said: "This simple ceramics piece proved itself to be the Greatest Of All Time goats. People the world over are fascinated by British royalty and the opportunity to own a unique item crafted by King Charles sparked major interest. Though a keen artist, he is better known for his paintings, so this was a rare opportunity."

Prince Charles was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1967 to read Archaeology and Anthropology and then History. He became the first British heir apparent to earn a university degree, graduating Bachelor of Arts in June, 1970.

Auctioneer Charles added: "Raymond initially got in touch by email and we were hugely excited. We've been privileged to auction other early artworks by King Charles and the interest is always phenomenal. Such is the goat's importance, Raymond flew to the UK to deliver it to us in person at Hansons' Staffordshire saleroom, Bishton Hall."

Charles described the ceramic highland goat, with its yellow horns and yellow, pink and brown stripes as "beautifully enamelled and modelled." He said: "It captures the relaxed vibrancy and charm of the late 1960s/early 1970s. Perhaps King Charles was inspired by the goat mascot of The Royal Regiment of Wales."

As the regiment's first colonel-in-chief, King Charles wore its uniform at his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969. Raymond, now in his retirement years, wanted to find the goat a new home where it would be "treasured for decades to come," said Charles.

Auctioneers previously sold childhood drawings by King Charles of his mother and father, Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh. signed 'Mummy' and 'Papa', they were produced by Charles when he was five or six years old between 1953-55. They were guided at £5,000-£10,000 but achieved a premium inclusive total of £59,800 in June last year.

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