A fine Dutch stipple-engraved light-baluster goblet by Frans Greenwood, on a metal mount, circa 1744
Lot 57
A fine Dutch stipple-engraved light-baluster goblet by Frans Greenwood, on a metal mount, circa 1744
Sold for £18,750 (US$ 31,515) inc. premium
Lot Details
A fine Dutch stipple-engraved light-baluster goblet by Frans Greenwood, on a metal mount, circa 1744
Signed, the round funnel bowl decorated with a half-length portrait of a fishwife, her head slightly turned and with a downward gaze, wearing a low-cut laced bodice and a flat-topped wide-brimmed hat, holding in her left hand a herring by its tail and in her right hand an oval platter with zig-zag border upon which rests another fish, to her left on a table a spray of two flowering lilies and one in bud placed in a jug behind a pail of herrings, on a densely stippled ground, set on a tall slender multi-knopped stem above a 19th century replacement parcel-gilt lower section and domed foot chased with strapwork within a border of foliate scrolls, 24.3cm high overall Frans Greenwood fecit in script on the reverse of the bowl,


  • Provenance:
    Anon. sale, Sotheby's, 3 June 1974, lot 116
    Collection of the Earl of Bradford, Weston Park, Shifnal, sold at Christie's, 4 June 1985, lot 30
    With Heide Hübner, Würzburg, 1986

    Weston Park, Shifnal, 1983
    "31. Deutsche Kunst- und Antiquitäten-Messe", Haus der Kunst, Munich, 24 October- 2 November 1986

    N.Riley, 'Antique Glass in Shropshire', Antique Dealer and Collectors Guide 147 (June 1975), fig.5
    Frank Davis, Country Life 178/4588 (1985), p.215, fig.1
    David Watts, 'Glass', Antiques (1986), p.87, 2 figs
    Frans Smit, Frans Greenwood 1680-1763, Dutch poet and glass engraver (1988), p.152, no.44.1, figs. 54, 97, 99
    Frans Smit, Uniquely Dutch Eighteenth-Century Stipple-engravings on Glass (1993), p.121, Dc.3

    A goblet engraved by Greenwood (1680-1763) with an identical fishwife but with a different background dated 1744 is now in the Museum Simon van Gijn in Dordrecht (see A.Ruempol, 'Flonkering van de wijn. Dordrecht 1300-1800', Museum Mr Simon van Gijn (1967), no.4).

    Fishwives of Scheveningen used to wear wide-brimmed hats such as that depicted on this glass. On the flattened top they carried wide flat fish baskets; the wide brim, effectively an umbrella, protecting the wearer against drips from the baskets. As early as in 1654 the poet Jacob Cats published a poem 'On a woman from Schevenigen carrying a basket of fish on her head'. The portrait on the present lot is in the manner of Gerrit Dou (1613–1675), a painter of the Dutch Golden Age.

    For quite a different portrait of a fishwife engraved by Greenwood in 1742 see that sold from the Anton Dreesman Collection, sold firstly at Sotheby's, 3 June 1974, lot 115 (as the present lot) and at Christie's Amsterdam, 16 April 2002, lot 1279 (Smit 1988, pp.146-147, 42.1, fig, which also possessed a later metal mounted foot now replaced with a contemporary example).

    These three glasses have in common an unusual feature in that each fishwife holds a herring by its tail. In Dutch painting such a display has been interpreted as having licentious implications but Greenwood may not have had such symbolism in mind. In a poem in which he refers to a goblet engraved by him with a herring saleswoman (probably the 1742 goblet), Greenwood (1760) only sings praise of purely epicurean delights: (in translation) 'Oh most blessed fishery. What delicacies you provide each year! Your herring, that beloved fish, Whets one's appetite at the table'. It is interesting, though, that on the present lot Greenwood added lilies, a symbol of purity.

    The Herring industry or the 'Groote Visscherij' (Great Fishery) has played a very important role in the Dutch economy especially from the 17th century onwards.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the bowl has been restuck to the stem and that the stem may not be original to the glass.
  1. Simon Cottle
    Specialist - Glass
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