Opaque white glass Scent Flask, probably the Beilby workshop, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, dated 1782


This small, opaque blown-glass scent flask is of a flattened pear shape and has a solid ring base. The body leading into the neck is slightly tapering to a plain rim, the top part of the neck being almost cylindrical. The body is inscribed in black with the initials MW above the date 1782. This is contained within a purplish rococo cartouche.The reverse is enamelled in the same colour with flowers and a winged insect. There is a puce foliate deisgn around the opening at the neck. The stopper is of metal and cork.

Condition: Excellent - no damage or restoration. The enamels have only slight wear in places, and the rough pontil mark is consistent with production.

Dimensions: Height (without stopper) 7.4 cm

Provenance: Anon sale, Christie's, St James's, London, 24 November, 1987.

Ref. The Corning Museum of Glass, New York, has a similar scent flask painted with a purplish rococo pattern and inscribed IW above the date 1782 (Accession Number 59.2.4). Interestingly, they also have a similar scent flask enamelled with the same flowers and winged insect as seen here, this time in polychrome (Accession Number 86.2.22). The enamel decoration on this scent flask is attributed to either William or Mary Beilby.

Sotheby's Concise Encyclopedia of Glass, David Battie & Simon Cottle, Eds. (Conran Octopus, 1995).


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