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The Penrose Collection

15 Lot Collection

A collection of Waterford glass with exceptional provenance being sold by direct descendants of George Penrose, the co-founder of the Waterford Glass House.

A suite of Waterloo (Cork) drinking glasses from the collection.

A suite of Waterloo (Cork) drinking glasses from the collection.

We have been instructed to sell 15 lots of Waterford glass that come by direct descent from the Penrose family.

George Penrose and his nephew William Penrose, both prominent Quakers and astute businessmen, established the Waterford Glass House in 1783 to take advantage of the dropping of the glass levy, on Irish glass, by the English Parliament. This excise duty, which was charged on the weight of the materials used to make the glass, remained on English glass, but in order to protect domestic concerns, the export of Irish glass to England (not withstanding smuggling) was forbidden.

The Penroses ran the Waterford Glass House, initially with John Hill and then latterly with Jonathon Gatchell. George Penrose died in 1796 and Gatchell with partners bought out William Penrose's interest in 1799.

The Waterford Glass House continued under several Gatchell partnerships until it closed in 1851, shortly after exhibiting a suite of banqueting crystal at the Great Exhibition, due to the crushing burden of taxation.

William's daughter, Elizabeth Penrose, married Anthony Robinson in 1805 at the Friends Meeting House and their daughter Susanna Penrose Robinson who was born in 1816 married Joseph William MacMullen in 1850. Although Susanna had ten siblings, she seems to have outlived many of them (most of whom seem not to have had issue of their own) and as a result inherited most of the Penrose and Robinson artifacts including a shell cabinet made by her mother Elizabeth (see lot FS21/914). In turn, Joseph and Susanna's son Alfred Robinson MacMullen inherited the collection passing it to his son Alfred Grahame MacMullen (1891-1966) who married Priscilla Carter of Budleigh Salterton. On his death, she remarried becoming Priscilla Hull, gifting the collection to her sons in 1993.

Many of the lots in this collection are illustrated in Irish Glass, Waterford, Cork, Belfast in the Age of Exhuberance by Phelps Warren.

Sale Information

FS21: Two Day Fine Art Sale
Tuesday, 21st January 2014
Wednesday, 22nd January 2014

Okehampton Street, Exeter

Lots from the Collection

Lot FS21/455

Lot FS21/455: A Pair Waterford Glass Mallet Shaped Decanters and Matched Stoppers

A pair Waterford glass mallet shaped decanters and matched stoppers each with heavy lip and pair of annulated neck rings on slice cut sloping shoulders the body cut with vertical linear designs below a band of inverted fans, with star cut bases and mushroom stoppers, 19 and 19.5cm high, circa 1820-30. These decanters are illustrated as plate 115, Irish Glass, Phelps Warren.

Estimate: £200 - £300
Realised: £1,050
Lot FS21/456

Lot FS21/456: A Waterford Glass Decanter and Stopper

A Waterford glass decanter and stopper of mallet shaped form with heavy lip and triple annulated neck rings above sloping slice cut shoulders, the body cut with vertical linear designs flanked top and bottom with cut swags, above a star cut base, with star cut mushroom stopper, 20.5cm high, circa 1820-30, minor chip to rim. The decanter is illustrated as plate 115, the shape appearing on sheet in Samuel Miller's Waterford Glass House Patterns plate 1a, Irish Glass, Phelps Warren.

Estimate: £150 - £200
Realised: £1,100
Lot FS21/457

Lot FS21/457: Two Waterford Liqueur Glasses, Scent Phial and Cruet Stand

Two Waterford liqueur glasses, scent phial and cruet stand the former with funnel shaped bowl inscribed 'E P.' for Elizabeth Penrose and verso with a spray of forget-me-not, set on a faceted stem and spreading foot, 9cm high, another with everted rim inscribed 'T R' for Thomas Robinson, the scent phial of circular form inscribed 's R.' for Susanna Robinson, with prism cut sides the reverse with a field of diamonds, 4.5cm high, crack to reverse and neck, the boat shaped cruet with diamond cut sides and base, 16cm long, circa 1790-1830. (4).

Estimate: £200 - £250
Realised: £500
Lot FS21/458

Lot FS21/458: A Waterford Glass Decanter and Stopper

A Waterford glass decanter and stopper of bottle shaped form with slice cut neck and shoulders the body bisected into three panels by cut swags with pendants containing a pen and rose rebus, a lion rampant supporting two roses and interlaced initials **P, above a band of vertical blazes, with bulls eye stopper, 25cm high, circa 1805. The decanter is illustrated as plate 102, Irish Glass, Phelps Warren where its ownership by Elizabeth Penrose and its history is more fully discussed.

Estimate: £600 - £800
Realised: £4,700
Lot FS21/459

Lot FS21/459: A Waterford Glass Memorial Scent Bottle

A Waterford glass memorial scent bottle of flattened oval form engraved with the initials RP (for Rachel Penrose née Nevins) beneath the arched caption Look & Remember within a simple foliate border above a pair of ribbon bound roses and buds and verso with the initials SE above the arched caption 'Dearly Beloved' within a simple ribbon bound foliate border, 17cm long, late 18th century, neck broken and taped. Illustrated plate 214, Irish Glass, Phelps Warren.

Estimate: £250 - £350
Realised: £1,500
Lot FS21/460

Lot FS21/460: A Small Group of Waterford Glass

A small group of Waterford glass comprising a cream jug with notched rim above prism cuts and a band of diamonds flanked by slice cutting, 9cm high, a salt with serrated rim cut with a field of diamonds above a slice cut base, together with a salt of navette form with undulate rim, cut with prisms and flat diamonds on a hexagonal stem and diamond shaped lemon squeezer base., 9.5cm long, 1800-30 the former cracked, the latter with minor wear to rim. (3).

Estimate: £100 - £150
Realised: £400
Lot FS21/461

Lot FS21/461: A Waterford Glass Scent Phial of Shuttle Form

A Waterford glass scent phial of shuttle form inscribed with initials 'G P.', possibly for George Penrose the front and flanks cut with prisms, the reverse cut with prisms, a feather motif and a panel of fine diamonds, 10.5cm long, circa 1795-1800.

Estimate: £150 - £200
Realised: £780
Lot FS21/462

Lot FS21/462: A Set of Four Irish Glass, Probably Cork, Wine Goblets

A set of four Irish glass, probably Cork, wine goblets the bucket shaped bowls with basal annular knop engraved and etched below the rims with tasselled fabric swags bearing stellar motifs and pendant husks on spreading stepped stems and square lemon squeezer bases, 13cm high, circa 1810-30, minor chips to bases.

Estimate: £250 - £350
Realised: £550
Lot FS21/463

Lot FS21/463: A Suite of Irish, Probably Waterloo (County Cork), Drinking Glasses

A suite of Irish, probably Waterloo (County Cork), drinking glasses comprising three large goblets, twenty eight wine glasses each with everted rim, the bowls engraved and etched below the rim with a fretted and stellar band bordered by zig-zags, set on a hexagonal stem and spreading foot, 9 and 13cm high, circa 1805-30, eight wine glasses chipped. (31).

Estimate: £500 - £600
Realised: £1,300
Lot FS21/464

Lot FS21/464: A Pair of Small Irish Glass, Probably Cork, Tumblers and Three Liqueur Glasses En Suite

A pair of small Irish glass, probably Cork, tumblers and three liqueur glasses en suite the former of cylindrical form the rims engraved with tasselled fabric swags and pendant husks and cut with the initials 'W HR' (William Henry Robinson) and 'A R.' (Anthony Robinson) the glasses with ogee bowls on straight stems with central and basal knops on a spreading foot, engraved with the initials 'W HR, 'T R.' (Thomas Robinson) and 'P R (Penrose Robinson), 7 and 7.5cm high respectively, circa 1805-30. (5)An example of each is illustrated plate 182, Irish Glass, Phelps Warren.

Estimate: £300 - £400
Realised: £750
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