Wednesday - 10 February 2016

Here’s health to market in drinking glasses

16 September 2004Written by ATG Reporter

ONE of 11, generally very fine, British drinking glasses consigned from ‘a Highland lady’ to The Scottish Sale held by Bonhams (17.5% buyer's premium) in Edinburgh on August 18-20, was this 3 1/4in (8cm) high polychromed enamel firing glass, right, probably decorated c.1765 by member of the Beilby family of Newcastle.

To the front are the arms of the Lodge of Journeymen and Masons, No 8 Edinburgh, within a scrolling cartouche flanked by a trowel and hammer.

To the reverse is a set square and a plumb bob within foliate sprays.

In the past decade there has been considerable academic speculation and research surrounding the authorship of those few British 18th century drinking glasses which carry enamelled decoration in the rococo style - could the many detectable hands all have been from the Beilby workshop? - but the sophisticated decoration to this example allows some degree of certainty in the attribution.

Formerly in the Henry Brown Collection, and in fine condition, it was competed way past the modest £2000-3000 estimate to £11,000.

The rest of this collection comprised wine glasses with Jacobite engraving. These can be equally controversial (the date of the embellishment is frequently disputed) but there were several very good examples here from the 1750s.

Sold at £4000 was a multi-spiral air-twist with knops to top and bottom, conical foot and a round funnel bowl engraved with typical Jacobite references including a six-petalled rose spray with two buds, a caterpillar crawling on the stem and a spider in its web.

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ATG Reporter

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