Mary Beilby Opaque Twist Wine Glass With Enamelled Decoration C1765

Mary Beilby Opaque Twist Wine Glass With Enamelled Decoration C1765


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About this item

Colour : Clear
Bowl : Round funnel, intricate enamelled floral swags
Stem : Double series opaque twist: 12-ply spiral thread outwith a corkscrew
Foot : Conical
Pontil : Snapped
Glass Type : Lead
Condition : Excellent, no chips or cracks
Restoration : None
Weight: 125 grams
Mary Beilby was only 11 years old when the family business moved to Newcastle in 1761. By 1763, at the age of only 13, she began enamelling in her brothers workshop. One can only imagine what the strict and conservative glassmakers of Newcastle thought of having a 13 year old girl working in their studios but soon Mary was accepted into the fold as a result of the fine work she and her brothers produced. Her earlier works, as with this example, comprised mostly of simple yet beautiful swags either floral or rococo in design. As her career developed and her confidence as an artist grew she began to develop into more complex pastoral scenes influenced by Thomas Bewick, an apprentice and later partner in the business.
The two developed a romantic relationship with a rather tragic end. Bewick's memoir says that, were it not for his lowly position as an apprentice to the family, he would have married her much earlier. Unfortunately the delay put paid to their relationship as in 1774 Mary collapsed in a paralytic stroke which disfigured her face and crippled her left side leaving her totally dependent on her brother. She still painted on glass despite her disability albeit at a slower rate and a lower quality. After this Bewick lost interest in Mary and married a childhood friend of his family. William Bielby then supported his younger sister admirably until the end of her life.

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Wear condition


Date of manufacture


Place of origin

United Kingdom


18th Century and Earlier


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