An Old Pretender Goblet. A diamond-point engraved plain stem goblet
Lot 36
An Old Pretender Goblet. A diamond-point engraved plain stem goblet, circa 1740
Sold for £9,600 (US$ 16,135) inc. premium
Lot Details
An Old Pretender Goblet. A diamond-point engraved plain stem goblet, circa 1740
The bell bowl engraved with the Royal Crown, JR cipher and numeral 8, beneath a scroll border incorporating wheel devices and flanked by the inscription Caelum non animum mutant Qui trans mare currunt, on a plain stem and domed foot, 19.5cm high


  • Provenance:
    Formerly the property of a Highland Lady

    The quotation is from Horace's Epistles translated as "Those who travel the seas change sky not spirit".

    The present lot is associated with a large group of goblets generally referred to as 'Amen Glasses' of which at least 35 are recorded (see Robert Charleston,'Amen Glasses', Glass Circle Journal 5 (1986), pp.4-14 and Geoffrey Seddon, The Jacobites and their Drinking Glasses (1995), p.185-229). There has been much conjecture concerning the origin of the engraver of this group of glass. In October 2010 it was suggested by Geoffrey Seddon in a paper to the Scottish Glass Conference that the engraver may have been Sir Robert Strange, the father of engraving in Scotland and an ardent Jacobite supporter. However, this is as yet inconclusive. Indeed, one authority has suggested that the engraving displays the work of several hands.

    In the 1930s three glasses were entered for sale by Robert Ferguson at Sotheby's with forged pedigrees which have subsequently been regarded as either direct copies or were influenced by the earlier versions.

    The closest example to the present lot is that in the Cinzano Collection, sold by Ferguson at Sotheby's in 1937. It is now considered to have later engraving. Although of a similar form but with a folded foot and of virtually the same height, it also bears the crowned cipher, 8 and the same Latin inscription (see Peter Lazarus, The Cinzano Collection (1980), fig.88). Whilst the present lot was previously unknown to Charleston, Seddon and Lazarus, it may be the example on which that in the Cinzano Collection is based. Two of the three glasses sold in the 1930s are obvious copies of published illustrations of well-known, well-documented glasses. Until the appearance of the present lot the Cinzano example had no direct parallel.

    The Gregson of Tilliefour Goblet, in the collection of John Bryan, Chicago and illustrated by Dwight Lanmon, The Golden Age of English Glass 1650-1775 (2011), pp.172-173 no.54, also bears similarities in style to both the Cinzano glass and the present lot and is also inscribed with verse in English and French. It has a pedigree dating back at least as far as 1919, prior to the publication of the books in which the glasses copied by Ferguson are illustrated.

    Whatever the origins of these intriguing glasses may be and especially that of the present lot, their existence has provoked much debate and will undoubtedly continue so to do.
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