Belfast Telegraph

Stirrups worn by King Billy at the Boyne fail to sell at auction

Stirrups that King William of Orange once wore at the Battle of the Boyne have been left on the shelf after bidders failed to meet the reserve at auction.

The equine accessory went under the hammer this evening as part of the Exceptional Sale at auctioneer Christie's in London.

The item had been expected to pull in between £40,000 to £60,000, with the reserve set at the lower end of this price range.

A short time ago a spokesperson for Christie's confirmed that although the reserve was not met, there had been some interest.

As part of the Exceptional Sale 25 unique high-profile pieces, many of which have historical value, have gone under the hammer.

Although Billy's stirrups didn't make the cut this evening, others items in the sale managed to draw in some eye-watering sale prices.

A carved marble statue of lions dating to the 14th century from the tomb of King Charles V of France by the sculptor Andre Beauneveu have gone for £9,349,000 - a world record for a piece of medieval art at auction.

A diamond-glazed gold locket containing a portrait of King George IV has known as the 'Maria Fitzherbert Jewel' has sold for £341,000, more than twice its highest estimate.

Authenticity

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last month, the seller's agent Nicholas Shaw said that there was no doubt that the stirrups were the ones worn by William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne.

"I research these items and they turned out to be very special because of their association with William of Orange," he said.

"They used to belong to a very famous family from Portadown called the Blackers who, at one time, also had a pair of gloves that William used at the battle and his saddle cloth."

Prior to coming into the possession of William of Orange, the stirrups had belonged to his grandfather Charles I of England.

The stirrups are engraved with the initials CR (Charles Rex), and date to 1626.

In around 1797 they were handed down to Lieutenant Colonel William Blacker, who was one of the founders of the Orange Order in Armagh and brought the stirrups with him around the towns of Ireland to use them as a recruiting tool. 

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