A façon de Venise vase and cover attributed to the Court Glasshouse in Innsbruck c.1570-91 – £70,000 at Bonhams.

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It was the highlight of Bonhams’ Fine Ceramics and Glass sale in London on September 29.

It formed part of an unpublished collection of early European glass formed by Lady Maria Elisabeth Augusta Cartwright (1805-1902) of Aynhoe Park, Oxfordshire.

‘Lili’ the collector

‘Lili’ was the eldest daughter of Bavarian nobleman Count Thomas von Sandizell. She married the English diplomat Sir Thomas Cartwright, whom she had met during the Munich carnival in 1824.

She began collecting ceramics and glass in the 1820s, recording in her diary many of her expeditions to auctions and dealers.

Her holdings were added to by her eldest son William Cornwallis Cartwright (1825- 1915), the Liberal MP for Oxfordshire and a client of the prominent Munich dealer AS Drey.

In the family ever since, these pieces represented some of the best early Venetian and façon de Venise glass to come to auction since the celebrated Mühleib collection was sold by Bonhams in 2013.

Court Glasshouse

This 12½in (31cm) vase and cover belongs to a group attributed to the Court Glasshouse founded in 1570 by Archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol in the garden of his home at Schloss Ambras, Innsbruck.

Through negotiations with the Venetian authorities, he secured raw materials, tools and the temporary loan of craftsmen from Murano. The cold-painted decoration on these wares, usually executed in red, green and gold, was probably done by German artisans.

An old paper label attached to the foot of this piece records its purchase at the estate sale of William Fraine Fortescue (1810-1889), a fellow of New College, Oxford and vicar of Chesterton.

A comparable example in the Mühleib sale sold at £42,000.