Clear-cut brilliance at $600k glass sale

Bonhams raised an exceptional total of £666,468 at Wednesday's Fine British & European Glass & Paperweights Sale (December 16).

The Beilby Thompson Goblet

With 86.35% of lots sold by value, this sale generated widespread interest from collectors and enthusiasts and included an array of British, Venetian and Dutch glass, alongside a magnificent collection of paperweights.

The highlight of the sale was the Chris Crabtree collection of English Glass. Amassed over four decades and widely-considered to be one of the finest collections of 18th Century glass in private hands, it featured a number of high value lots.

All but one of the pieces in this 30-strong collection sold, contributing to the impressive overall sale total.

From this prominent collection, The Beilby Thompson Goblet, an important Beilby polychrome enameled and gilt opaque-twist goblet, sold for £38,400 (estimated at £20,000-30,000). Painted with the arms of Beilby Thompson, this splendid circa 1765 goblet attracted widespread interest from a number of bidders.

Also from the Crabtree Collection was The Sedbergh Goblet: a Beilby enameled opaque-twist goblet, circa 1760-65. It reached a phenomenal £18,600, against a pre-sale estimate of £8,000-12,000. Meanwhile, a Beilby enameled opaque-twist wine glass from the Horsley Service, circa 1765, sold for £18,000 (estimated at £12,000-18,000).

An 1860 baluster goblet (£36k)

Elsewhere in the sale, a large and impressive early baluster goblet, circa 1690, with magnificent 'nipt diamond waies' ornament and four moulded cherub's head prunts performed equally well, reaching £36,000 (estimated at £10,000-15,000).

This goblet is the only one of its kind recorded in literature to bear prunts in the form of cherub's heads, making it a rare and valuable piece.

Alongside this, a fine 1770 Dutch-engraved VOC (East Indies Company) goblet sold for £26,400 (estimated at £8,000-12,000). Featuring an intricately engraved three-masted sailing ship and an elaborate cartouche formed of naval trophies, the high quality of the work is likely to be that of Jacob Sang, a highly-skilled glass engraver.

Holding the flame for fine glass candlesticks, the rare colour-twist 1770 Stout Candlestick sold for £18,000 (estimated at £15,000-20,000). Formerly from the collection of the late J Anthony Stout, this lot is one of only three colour-twist candlesticks recorded in the literature.

"We are delighted with such a great result, emphasising Bonhams position as the undeniable market leader for antique glass," said Simon Cottle, Director of Bonhams European Ceramics & Glass Department.

"The enthusiasm from buyers from all corners of the globe for the quality and range of glass in the sale is a true indicator of the current worldwide strength of this highly traditional collectors market."


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Images: Bonhams

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