Trading from the Arts Museum in Cockspur Street, the famous James Giles (1718-80) china and glass decorating atelier produced an enormous diversity of bijouterie for the London luxury trade.
The Giles business ledgers for 1771-76 still survive, recording
orders for some 50,000 pieces of Worcester porcelain and the
purchase of glass from William Parker's Glass Warehouse in Fleet
Street for £234.
This and other documentation (much of it relating to Giles'
various bankruptcies and two Christie's auctions of his stock in
trade) suggest that around a fifth of his workshop's output was in
gilded and enamelled glass.
This 3in (8cm) high cobalt blue scent bottle, c.1760-70, offered
by Rowley Fine Art at the Tattersalls in Newmarket on
May 27 is a particularly good example. Decorated in both gilt and
polychrome enamel to the facet cut body, it retains both its
original rocaille-chased gold cover inscribed Amour Sans
Fin and a fitted shagreen case. Consigned from a deceased
estate, it was in decent condition save some small losses to the
enamel, two small chips to the body and a dent to the cover.
With seven telephone bids on the lot, as well as bidding over
the internet, the £300-500 'here to go' estimate proved wide of the
mark. It sold at £7500 to a UK private collector against
underbidding from a dealer acting for a US client.
The buyer's premium was 19%.
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.