According to the Fondation Napoleon, which holds a similar example in its collection, these glasses would probably have been used during Napoleon’s last campaigns of 1814 and 1815, and only a handful of other examples are known. The glass was made by Montcenis, the crystal manufacturer established in 1787 which produced the majority of the glassware for the imperial household, as it had for the monarchs of the Ancien Régime.
This tumbler, from a family collection in north-west England, had an estimate of £1000-1500 at The Summer Fine Sale at Tennants (22% buyer’s premium) in Leyburn on July 16. It made £8000.
Just as Napoleon’s victories were celebrated in France, so his defeats were lauded by British glassmakers. Bonhams’ (27.5/25/20/14.5% buyer’s premium) sale of Fine Ceramics & Glass on June 21-22 included two very good examples marking an extraordinary series of British naval victories that followed the Battle of the Nile in 1798. Both came for sale from collectors Patrick and Mavis Walker.
An engraved commemorative tumbler made c.1798 decorated with four anchors and ribbon-tied swags was inscribed Howe 1st June 1794, St Vincent, February 14 1797, Duncan 11th October 1797 and Nelson 1st August 1798.
It was bought by the Walkers from the Delomosne and Son 2013 catalogue Engraved Glass from North East England 1800-1860, where comparisons were drawn between the border on this tumbler and that on a glass signed by John Richardson to suggest a possible north-eastern origin. Estimated at £1000-1500, it took £2200.
Sold at £5000 (estimate £1500-2500) was a Nelson commemorative triple ring decanter and stopper.
Inscribed Trafalgar above a frosted shield containing an anchor intertwined with the initial N, the flanking inscription reads May His Memory Never Be Forgot Octr 21 1805. The reverse has a label for Hollands (also known as Genever), the once popular juniper-flavoured spirit produced by distilling malt wine.