A highly important Beilby enamelled and gilt Royal armorial light-baluster wine glass for Prince William V of Orange and Nassau, circa 1766
Lot 116
A highly important Beilby enamelled and gilt Royal armorial light-baluster wine glass for Prince William V of Orange and Nassau, circa 1766
Sold for £63,650 (US$ 106,479) inc. premium
Lot Details
A highly important Beilby enamelled and gilt Royal armorial light-baluster wine glass for Prince William V of Orange and Nassau, circa 1766
The round funnel bowl painted in colours and gilt with the arms of the Nassau Princes of Orange encircled by the Garter and surmounted by a crown and mantling, the lion supporters on a ribbon bearing the motto JE MAIN TIEN DRAY, the reverse with a white butterfly, below a gilt line rim, set on a tall multi-knopped stem and conical foot, 19.7cm high


  • Provenance: With Frides Lameris, Amsterdam
    European private collection

    Prince William V of Orange (Willem Batavus, 1748-1806) was the last Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic. The son of William IV and Anne, daughter of King George II of Great Britain, William V attained his majority in 1766 and married Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia the following year. His father had died in 1751 and thus for the next fifteen years the United Provinces were ruled by Regency. William's mother, the Dowager Princess Anne was the acting ruler until her death in 1759, followed by the Dowager Princess Marie Louis, William's grandmother, from 1759 to her death in 1765. The final Regent was his older sister, Princess Carolina who ruled until William's next birthday. William remained Stadtholder until 1795 when he was forced to flee the country, dying in Brunswick in 1806.

    This previously unrecorded royal armorial wine glass matches a larger goblet in the A C Hubbard Jr. Collection, sold in these rooms 30 November 2011, lot 142. Formerly in the collections of Mme Leon Possemiers and Mrs E Norman, this had been reported as once belonging to the Nassau family, although no documentary proof supports this. See James Rush, A Beilby Odyssey (1987), p.130, pl.95, and p.128, also Ward Lloyd, A Wine Lover's Glasses (2000), pp.70-72, pls.87 and 88. The Beilby workshop specialised in armorial decoration and their most celebrated productions are a series of royal goblets. The majority of Beilby royal examples are decorated with the Royal arms of George III, King of Great Britain. These include a decanter and nine opaque-twist goblets with bucket-shaped bowls, a shape popular in England at the time.

    Fine wine glasses and goblets with light-baluster stems, of the type known as 'Newcastle' balusters, are now known to have been manufactured in Holland as well as England. Indeed it seems likely that the majority of these distinctive glasses are of Dutch origin and relatively few were made in London or Newcastle. It is even possible that the Beilbys may have imported undecorated light-baluster glasses from Holland. Coats of arms of the Dutch royal family were staple productions of the wheel engravers working in Holland, while the finest Dutch engravers, such as Jacob Sang also favoured the light-baluster shape for their most prestigious commissions.

    It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the Beilbys chose to follow Dutch traditions when they decorated their light-baluster glasses. Thirteen wine glasses or goblets of similar shape are recorded including the present lot. Three of these are painted with vines while ten bear armorials. Eight of these surviving armorial glasses have direct Dutch connections. The magnificent large goblet from the Hubbard Jr Collection matches the present lot with the arms of Prince William V. A glass in the Durrington Collection bears the crest of the Tilly family of Haarlem together with the arrows crest of the Seven United Provinces. Two others from this set are also known. In the Kaplan Collection in Washington is a glass with the arms accollés of Prince William V and Princess Wilhelmina and there is a similar glass in Rotterdam Museum. A further signed Beilby wine glass, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, is enamelled with a fictitious coat of arms. This was formerly in the Buckley collection and it is recorded that William Buckley acquired this glass in Holland.

Saleroom notices

  • There is a restored chip to the edge of the footrim
  1. John Sandon
    Specialist - Glass
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 8244
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8252
Similar items