This tour de force of the Victorian glass craftsman’s art was the highlight of Bonhams’ mixed-owner British and European glass sale.
The 17in (43.5cm) diameter cameo glass plaque featuring a diaphanously clad maiden surprised by two putti is titled The Attack. It was made by Thomas and George Woodall, masters of this particular form of glass cutting, and was a companion to another plaque featuring a similar subject titled The Intruders.
Both were produced for the Chicago Exhibition of 1893 (although The Attack wasn't in fact completed till 1896) and both passed into the collection of H.C. Ash at some point. The Intruders is now in the Chrysler Museum of Art but The Attack passed down by descent from Ash to the family of the vendor who offered it at Bonhams.
It ended up selling for £140,000 on May 1, well over its £70,000-100,000 estimate, setting a new high for English cameo glass in the process, beating the £94,000 paid for a Woodall vase at Sotheby's in 2002.
The Attack will now be joining The Intruders as it was knocked down in the room to the US dealer Leo Kaplan who was bidding on behalf of the Chrysler Museum.
The buyer's premium was 25/20/12%