Bonhams to sell 252 year old wine glass from British history

Andrea Divirgilio / May 12, 2012

Wine, as we all know, gets better with age. The same could apply to wine glasses as well, more so especially, when the piece is a rare vintage one with a slice of British history attached. In what can be described as a one of its kind extravaganza, a rich array of paperweights and wine glasses, from the 17th and 20th centuries go up for sale at Bonhams on May 30th, 2012. Topping the list is a magnificent wineglass dating back to England of the privateers. The glass bears a spectacular engraving of The Eagle, a privateer from 1760. It is being expected to grab £8,000-12,000.

Historic wine glass

For those who did not know, the word privateer refers to a person or ship that attacked foreign ships, on Government orders. It provided a cheap alternative to the deployment of entire naval fleets during wartime, thereby saving public funds. Privateers were known to disrupt trade and capture enemy ships. Cost was primarily derived through the capture of vessels and fleets, with the proceeds getting distributed among crew members and investors. Privateers form an important chapter in the history of 17th century naval warfare.

The Eagle, whose portrait on the glass’s body partially drives its value, is actually a frigate weighing 250 tons. A solid army of 24 guns added to its power on the seas . The Eagle on the Bonham’s glass comes with an inscription which reads ‘Succefs to the EAGLE FRIGATE’. “This glass represents a fascinating period of British history”- said Simon Cottle, Head of the Glass Department at Bonham’s. And we could not have agreed more, for the glass actually transports you back to an era where Pirates and piracy were considered legal.

Stylish Wine glasses, as we had seen on several instances earlier, are very much in demand. So while hi-tech wine glasses wooed the geeks, the vintage wine glasses have their old world charm intact with the collectors. Adolf Hitler’s wine glass is a case in point. Used by the dreaded leader during evenings, the collection was valued at $1,295. In another instance, an exclusive champagne glass set with 1700 white and pink diamonds was estimated to sell for $400,000. The Wine glass with The Eagle engraving, we hope, makes similar waves.

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