Unexpected Treasures: The Case of The Crystal Goblet
Penny E. tells us that the Czech crystal goblet (which measures approximately 3 1/2 inches in diameter and is 9 inches tall) was purchased by her father wen he was in the Army. He bought the goblet from an antiques dealer in Frankfurt, Germany in the late 1950s. Penny's father was told that the goblet was supposed to be one of 12 that were a gift from Czar Nicholas of Russia to Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany on one of Wilhelm's birthday's.
We asked Heritage Auctions for a little help on this one. They received photographs of the items and Penny's email. This is not an official appraisal but is for entertainment purposes only. A comprehensive appraisal often can't be made with a few pictures alone, the item usually has to be examined in person. Eric Smylie who works in the Historical Department at Heritage Auctions told Luxist that the monogram and coronet on the goblet "indicate the glasses belonged to someone with the initials "WM" who was a European count or countess." Wilhelm II would have had his cipher "WII" or "WRII" under either the Crown of Charlemagne (as Kaiser of the German Empire) or the Prussian Crown (as King of Prussia and would never use a coronet. Smylie stated that the value of the goblet should be determined without reference to a royal or imperial association, because it does not exist. His estimate is approximately $150-$250 if the item is in good condition and without chips or cracks.
Tim Rigdon, Director of Silver and Vertu, Decorative Arts & Design, Heritage Auctions, corroborated this evaluation, saying that the engraved insignia is incorrect for the Kaiser and the crown "is for someone holding the rank of count." Nicholas Dawes, Consignment Director, Heritage Auctions, believes that the glass is fairly recent in make, "based on the 8th North European 'air twist' or 'mercury twist' type and form." The glass was likely "made in Bohemia probably early 20th century which would be consistent with the story" but he also agrees that the glass was probably engraved for an East European count or noble of some sort.
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