ROGERS JONES CO RAISE A GLASS
TO CROMWELL’S BLACKJACK
It’s sure to make good beer money, according to Cardiff fine art and antiques auctioneer Ben Rogers Jones! He found this exceptionally rare 17th century leather ale jug in a house in Aberaeron, West Wales, where it had remained in the same family for at least 40 years after being given to its owner by an old Leicestershire family.
Whether it will be drinks all round will be determined on Friday June 27, when it is expected to sell for up to £4,000 in an auction at Ben’s Penarth Road saleroom.
The jug, which is dated 1644, is called a blackjack, one theory being that it was named after Oliver Cromwell’s dead warhorse. In 2011, the BBC Antiques Roadshow was shown another of the ale jugs which had been made from the skin of Blackjack, produced to mark Cromwell’s status after King Charles I was overthrown in the Civil War. An inscription on a silver plaque attached to it read: "Oliver Cromwell Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Wales 1653."
About a dozen of the jugs were made out of Blackjack’s hide and used for ceremonial purposes, setting a trend which was copied by ale houses across the land.
The jug will go on show with more than 300 other antiques, works of art and collector’s items on Thursday June 26 from 10am-7pm and on the morning of the sale, which starts at 11am. For further information, please contact the auctioneers on 02920 708125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picture shows Ben Rogers Jones with the blackjack.