World Record for English Cameo Glass Masterpiece

Bonhams set a new auction world record for a piece of English cameo glass when The Origin of Painting, a vase by George Woodall, sold for £206,313 at the Fine Glass and British Ceramics sale in London last week. It had been estimated at £120,000-150,000.

This overtakes the previous auction world record for English cameo glass held by The Attack, a cameo glass plaque by Thomas and George Woodall, which sold for £169,250 at Bonhams London in May 2013.

George Woodall was a British glass artist who, together with his brother Thomas, took the ancient art of cameo glass to new heights in the 19th century. The Woodall's exhibited and sold their work all over the world, but The Origin of Painting was retained by the family and never offered for sale. It shows the young Corinthian Fielea sketching the shadow of her lover Ariston on a wall in order to forever capture his youthful beauty.

Bonhams specialist in glass and British ceramics, Dr Jim Peake, said "The vase is a triumph of craftsmanship, and the carving remains as clear now as the day it was completed. It had been passed down through the Woodall family and this was the first time that it was offered at auction. It is therefore unsurprising that it attracted a lot of interest from collectors and set a new auction record for English cameo glass."

Another Woodall work in the same sale, a cameo plaque showing the lyric poet Sappho playing a lyre, sold for £50,063. It had been estimated at £40,000-60,000.


Related auctions