AN EXTREMELY RARE MUSICIANS COVERED GOBLET
A mammoth engraved goblet with an ovoid-shaped bowl, over a plain stem with heavy basal knop, standing on a domed conical foot and covered with glass lid, both engraved with fruiting vine. The lids flattened knop engraved with crown and prince of wales feathers issuing from a coronet. The bowl is wheel-engraved with a panel showing Minerva, Goddess of the arts, with shield and spear in hand. This opposite a youthful Bacchus seated on a wine-cask, glass in hand. The panel is surmounted by a basket of fruit flanked by two obelisks and surrounded by shell and fruiting vine decoration. Unusually around this are fourteen musicians: two bass players with five-stringed instruments, two violinists, two trumpeters, two French hornists, two clarinettists, two bassoonist, and two lute players.
This group of goblets may refer to G F Handel, noticing the difference in musician numbers and Bacchus giving toast to Minerva. There was surely a progression in development, could Bacchus be representing a musician of the period? An obvious candidate instantly came to mind. With his reputation for wine women and song, and who is portrayed in contemporary cartoons as an over indulger in all departments. His foundation of the Royal Academy of Music in London, it's expansion over the years, and the erotic nature of the Goblet in C M OG, Bacchus with his over indulgence of wine along with the toast to Minerva seem to fit well with what is known about Handel.
- Height 25.5 cm / 10 "
- Width 16.5 cm / 6 "
- Period 1750-1799
- Year 1760
- Country England
- Collections The Goblet is extremely rare with only two other examples known. One formerly in the Horridge Collection with ten Musicians (Horridge 1959, lot 301) see Glass from the Restoration to the Regency (selling catalogue also with chip to foot) A similar Goblet with eight musicians was illustrated by Churchill (1937, fig 95) and now forms part of the Jerome Strauss Collection in The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning.
- Condition Foot chip repaired with later silver mount dating from 1841/1843 London Maker Charles Thomas Fox & George Fox.
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