A large late 17th century goblet with NDW
Lot 4
A large and impressive early baluster goblet circa 1690
Sold for £36,000 (US$ 60,473) inc. premium
Lot Details
A large and impressive early baluster goblet
circa 1690
The generous pointed funnel bowl with 'nipt diamond waies' gadrooning and an applied chain-circuit, above a hollow ball knop applied with four moulded cherub's head prunts, between collars over a teared angular knop and basal knop with wide folded conical foot, 28.6cm high


  • Provenance: unknown, purchased by the present owner at a country house sale, Ireland

    The most common form of prunted decoration is that modelled on a raspberry, inspired by Continental styles, especially from the Netherlands. A very similar goblet from the Rees-Price Collection, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum - the hollow raspberry prunted knop containing a coin of 1664 - is illustrated by Charleston (1984), pl.27a and Thorpe (1929), pl.LXXVII. The handful of large English goblets in this rare group generally bears three or four raspberry prunts.

    There are no other examples recorded in the literature of any English lead glass vessel of this period bearing prunts in the form of cherub's heads. Although used in this instance primarily as a decorative device, the complicated modelling of a cherub's head is perhaps more closely linked with the application of intricate seals such as the raven's head introduced by George Ravenscroft. Simple raspberry moulded prunts are more commonplace and better defined. The poor definition of the cherub's head prunt may be the reason behind the discovery so far of only the one glass bearing this device. It is likely that the present lot had been intended to carry a coin within the hollow knop. Cherub's heads are frequently found in the English decorative schemes of the late 17th century, especially painted on English delftware pottery such as drug jars, in ecclesiastical wood carving and as sculptural stone elements.

    Charleston argues that although the coins in the stems of these majestic goblets, the earliest of which is 1661, provide a terminus post quem for the glass's primary dating, their 'metal' is more likely to date from the 1680s onwards. The inverted baluster is a strong indicator that the present lot was not made much before 1690, a diagnosis confirmed by the existence of heavy baluster goblets containing coins of 1703, 1706, 1711 and 1713, respectively. Furthermore, Charleston believes that all those goblets similar to the present lot were probably made between 1685-90 (Charleston, op.cit, pp.129-130).