25 May 2024

Ceramic goat believed made by King Charles as a student could fetch $21k at auction

8:27 pm on 25 May 2024
A small ceramic goat believed to have been made by King Charles while he was a student at Cambridge University in the 1960s.

King Charles is believed to have made this pottery goat in the late 1960s and given it to Cambridge University cook Helen Patten. Photo: Supplied/Hansons Auctioneers

A ceramic goat believed to have been made by King Charles as a student in the 1960s is going under the hammer.

The goat has been owned for 55 years by Canada man Raymond Patten, who received it as a birthday present from his great-aunt Helen Patten.

She came into contact with the King while working as a cook at Cambridge University, where he studied from 1967-70.

"I believe she knew the future king on a personal basis," Raymond Patten said.

"I have treasured the goat all my life."

Helen Patten was "honoured" to serve members of the royal family and also cooked for the Queen Mother, Raymond Patten said.

The goat is being auctioned by Hansons Auctioneers on 4 June and is expected to fetch between £5,000 and £10,000 (NZ$10,500-$21,000).

Picture taken on February 8, 1971 at Cambridge showing Charles, Prince of Wales, preparing a meal in the kitchen of his apartement at the university of the city. (Photo by CENTRAL PRESS / AFP)

Then-Prince Charles as a student at Cambridge University. Photo: AFP

Hansons Auctioneers owner Charles Hanson said the team was "thrilled" to be auctioning the goat, which had strong provenance (a record of ownership and origin).

"We've been privileged to auction other early artworks by King Charles and the interest is always phenomenal."

In 2023, the auction house sold a childhood drawing of his parents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, for nearly £60,000 (NZ$125,000).

The goat was "beautifully enamelled and modelled", Hanson said.

"It captures the relaxed vibrancy and charm of the late 1960s/early 1970s.

"Perhaps Charles was inspired by the goat mascot of The Royal Regiment of Wales. As the regiment's first colonel-in-chief, he wore its uniform at his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969."

The King had displayed a passion for art throughout his life, but was perhaps best known for his paintings, Hanson said.

"The discovery of this ceramics piece demonstrates another side to his talent. As far as we are aware it is the only example of pottery made by King Charles in existence.

"It represents his early passion and artistic flare working in ceramics in the late 1960s ... We're thrilled to have made this royal find."

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