A NEW world auction record has been set for glass produced by an 18th-Century Tyneside craftsman.
London auctioneers Bonhams sold a Prince William V of Orange goblet made by William Beilby for £117,000.
The previous record for an example of 18th-Century Beilby glass was £67,000, set by Sotheby’s in 1997.
The rare 30cm-tall creation was etched by Beilby at his workshop in Newcastle for Dutch royalty in around 1766. It depicts the arms of the Nassau Princes of Orange in Netherlands and was designed to coincide with Prince William V of Orange’s coming of age.
For more than two decades it has been in the possession of the internationally-renowned glass collector A C Hubbard at his estate in Baltimore, USA.
Simon Cottle, head of the auction’s glass department, said: “It’s signed by William Beilby and is very rare.
“It’s believed to have come from the Dutch royal family and was in a private collection up until 1988 and then was put in the hands of private collector A C Hubbard.”
The historically-important Prince William V of Orange goblet is one of only four pieces left in private collections. It was decorated by Beilby, who died in 1819 aged 79 and who worked in Newcastle from 1757.
Beilby and his sister Mary worked as enamellers for local glass-makers from the family workshop beside St Nicholas’ Cathedral. He was renowned for enamel decoration of glass and produced around 90 recorded heraldic decanters, goblets and wine glasses, mainly with English armorials of which a significant handful depict Royal coats of arms.
Mr Cottle said: “The majority of their fine goblets with Royal armorials now reside in public institutions worldwide.
“The Prince William V of Orange Goblet in this auction offered a rare opportunity to possess an example, it is one of only four left in private hands.
“It is also one of only 16 glasses to be signed, and at an imposing 30.2cm in height it is by far the largest of all Beilby goblets.
“I believe its production may have led William Beilby’s entry to a contemporary valuable Dutch glass mark.
“Its large size and colourful enamel decoration would have been particularly impressive to the Dutch at a time when their craftsmen were producing smaller, engraved pieces.”