The Scottish and Celtic auction held by Bonhams (28/27/21/14.5% buyer’s premium) on September 14, also in the Scottish capital, featured a wealth of different categories of art and antiques.
When it came to the glassware, what could be more Scottish than these Jacobite glasses?
Made from the early 18th century onwards for use by supporters of the exiled James Francis Edward Stuart and his son Charles Edward, these are engraved with a variety of (sometimes cryptic) symbols and mottos that relate to the Jacobite cause. With crossover appeal that extends beyond glass enthusiasts, this remains a popular sector of the market.
Peter Lole purchases
A group of 16 of these 18th century Jacobite glasses featured in Bonhams’ sale. Including three relatively standard lots that sold immediately after the auction, 15 of these found buyers and several of the rarer examples were among the highest-priced items among the 321 lots overall.
The majority came from a single owner who had made several of their purchases from the Peter Lole collection which was dispersed in the same rooms in May 2019 - giving the opportunity for a price comparison four years on.
Heading the list, for example, was a 6in (15.5cm) high airtwist-stemmed wine glass of c.1750. This was engraved to the funnel bowl with an heraldic rose and thistle growing from the same stem surmounted by a crown which is identical to one illustrated in Geoffrey Seddon’s standard work on this subject - The Jacobites and their Drinking Glasses - where he attributes the crown to the artist known as ‘engraver D’.
Bonhams’ glass was formerly in the collection of AC Hubbard Junior, sold by the auction house in London in 2011 when Lole acquired it for a hammer price of £3500 and it went on to make £5500 in the 2019 sale of his collection. It made the same price, this time against a guide of £3000-4000.
Another former Lole Jacobite glass among the top lots was a 6in (15cm) airtwist stem glass of c.1750 engraved with a rose and two buds and the inscription Turno Tempus erit to one side, Fiat and a star to the other and Redeat and a thistle to the foot.
The mottos Redeat (May he return) and Turno Tempus erit (For Turnus there shall be a time, a reference from Virgil’s Aeneid, implying the Hanoverian victory might be short-lived) are occasionally found together.
Bonhams’ example was one of two identical glasses purchased in France where sets of Jacobite glasses have often been discovered. It sold for £3800, rather more than the £2800 it made in the Lole auction.
Outside the ex-Lole lots, selling for £4800 was an 8in (20cm) high baluster goblet dated to c.1720 that was engraved God Bleff King James to the funnel bowl. Like the celebrated series of Jacobite ‘Amen’ glasses, this had the unusual feature of being engraved in diamond point rather than by a copper wheel, a feature of early and rarer Jacobite glasses, most of which commemorate James Stuart (The Old Pretender) rather than his son Charles.
Formerly in the Michael Buckingham collection, this too had made a relatively recent appearance at auction. It sold at Lyon & Turnbull in 2019 for £3600.
Making £2500 was a 6½in (16.5cm) high plain stemmed wine glass of c.1745 also with diamond point engraving. This was inscribed around the rim of the bowl God Bless Prince Charles & Down with the Rump while the foot was engraved P Charles, P#C# and I R B’A, the lightness of the engraving suggesting it was intended to be disguised Another purchase from the Lole collection, this made £4000in 2019.
A selection of glasses of Jacobite significance also featured among the 97 lots of glass that opened the British and Continental glass and ceramics sale at Woolley & Wallis (26/20% buyer’s premium) in Salisbury on September 19.
Very much the best-seller here was a large 8½in (22cm) high airtwist stem goblet dated to c.1760.
There were no mottoes or inscriptions on this piece; instead its generous trumpet-shaped bowl was finely engraved with a continuous meander of flowers including rose, carnation, narcissus and passionflower, with flying insects alongside.
It sold just over the upper end of a £1000-1500 estimate at £1700.
Among the other Jacobite glasses in the Salisbury auction was a 7in (18cm) high airtwist stem wine glass dated to c.1740 and engraved with a rose and bud spray, an oak leaf and the word Fiat.
One of a group of wine glasses in the sale that had come from a private London collection, it realised £800.