A newly discovered enamelled goblet from the Golden Age of Venetian glass-making is to be sold at Bonhams
Fine Glass sale in London on 21 May. It is estimated at £30,000-40,000. Bonhams, the third largest international fine art auction house, holds sales of Fine Glass in London, Oxford, Edinburgh, and New York.
The goblet dates from 1500-1520. There is no record of its existence and, until recently, it has been in a private house where its significance was unrecognized. The shape of the goblet immediately reminded Bonhams specialists of an example that had been found beneath the campanile de San Marco in St Marks Square in Venice after it collapsed in 1902. Further research established strong stylistic and decorative links with similar Venetian goblets of the early 1500s in collections in Prague, Florence, Berlin, Frankfurt, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, the home of Lord Rothschild.
Extensive scientific analysis by the Centre for Archeological and Forensic Analysis at Cranford University confirmed that the chemical composition of the enamels was consistent with other early Venetian glass and, crucially, that the recipes of ingredients used to produce different colours were identical to those in use in Venice at that period.
Bonhams Managing Director of Europe and noted glass specialist, Simon Cottle, said: This is an immensely exciting discovery from the Golden Age of Venetian glass. Very few enamelled goblets of this quality have survived and they are almost all in distinguished public collections.