A Beilby enamelled opaque-twist wine glass from the Horsley Service circa 1765

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Lot 65
A Beilby enamelled opaque-twist wine glass from the Horsley Service
circa 1765

Sold for £ 18,000 (US$ 22,468) inc. premium
A Beilby enamelled opaque-twist wine glass from the Horsley Service
circa 1765
The ogee bowl painted with the horse's head crest of Horsley, the reverse with the monogram SMH in yellow, set on a double-series opaque-twist stem and conical foot, 14.5cm high

Footnotes

  • Provenance: possibly Sotheby's, 14 December 1945, lot 15; sold Sotheby's, 18 December 2001, lot 74

    The present lot appears to be part of a small service of decanters and three sizes of goblets, wine glasses and ale flutes of which eight examples have survived (see Cottle [2009], nos.33 to 40, listed as 33/1). The service was probably commissioned by the Revd. Samuel Horsley (1733-1806), Bishop of St. Asaph and Secretary of the Royal Society. Two wine glasses in two sizes from this service are illustrated by Rush (1973), p.23, fig.10 and Rush (1987), p.72, fig.35. A pair of decanters and stoppers and a pair of ale glasses were sold by Sotheby's, 13th March 1956, lot 80 where it is stated that they were found in the Sunderland area. A pair of wine glasses were sold by Sotheby's, 14th December 1945, lot 15, purchased by Cecil Davis, illustrated Connoisseur, May 1951, p.110, pl.7. In the sale catalogue it states that the wine glasses were part of a commemorative set and had descended to the then owner from the Horsey (sic) family.

    Samuel Horsley (1733-1806) was born in St.Martin's Place, London. After reading law at Cambridge, on 16th July 1758 he was ordained deacon and on 24th September 1758 ordained priest by his godfather, Zachary Pearce, Bishop of Rochester. Coincidentally, the next bishop of Rochester, John Thomas, commissioned at least two enamelled armorial wine glasses from the Beilbys in the 1760s (see Cottle [2009]).

    On 18th January 1759 Samuel Horsley became Rector of Newington Butts, a rural parish close to London. A non-resident rector, he lived in London and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on 9th April 1767. In November of the same year he was incorporated at Christ Church, Oxford. For the next decade the Royal Society became the focus of his intellectual life and it is possible that through this institution on his death in 1806 he left his glasses to fellow members (see John M. Bacon, Circle of Glass Collectors, papers No.9, 16 March 1939 'Beilby Enamel Painted Glass').

    Horsley became Archdeacon of St. Albans in 1781, Bishop of St. David's on 6th May 1788 and in 1801, following a heated political career which saw him taking on some of the leading politicians of the age during his parliamentary term in the House of Lords, he moved into the bishop's palace at St. Asaph where he ended his days.
A Beilby enamelled opaque-twist wine glass from the Horsley Service circa 1765
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