You have 2 more free articles remaining

Titled Sappho, it is engraved in white overlain on amethyst, contained in a satinwood frame measuring 16 1/2in x 12 1/2in (42 x 32cm) and dated to c.1895 and it is signed T & G Woodall. for Thomas and his brother George, two of the best British glass engravers of the period.

The plaque was one of three fine pieces of Stourbridge cameo glass, all consigned from the same private source, that featured in Bonhams’ (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) 19th century sale on May 26.

As well as being signed, Sappho is also published, in R and L Grover’s European Art Glass and is recorded in the Woodall’s price book under the code W2790 as originally costing £42.10s, no small sum in the 1890s.

Given that they could not find anything comparable offered at auction for around 15 years, Bonhams were not completely sure what the plaque would fetch but their unpublished guidelines were set at £25,000-35,000.

Come the sale there was interest in the room but the main competition came via the telephone with the hammer falling to one of the phone bidders at £38,000.

The two other pieces in the property were an 8in (20cm) high brown on white cameo glass vase and a much larger, 15in (38cm) high three-colour cameo vase. The smaller vase, which was signed Geo Woodall and dated to c.1880, was carved with putti hovering over a flower strewn ground and sold on commission for £16,000 against unpublished guidelines of £10,000-15,000. The three colour vase, which was attributed to the Woodall workshop and dated to c.1880-90, is carved with lilies and narcissi in white and pink on a yellow ground and went to the US dealers Kaplan for £18,000 against guidelines of £12,00-16,000.