Fact No. 140. (Published on 6/1/2005)

Constable-Maxwell Cage-Cup

Perhaps best known as the most expensive piece of glass ever sold, the Constable-Maxwell Cage-Cup is an extraordinary work of craftsmanship.

Believed to have once been a lamp (c. 300 AD), the 8 x 10 inch Constable-Maxwell Cage-Cup was carved from a single block of glass. The design includes a delicate filigree, also cut from the same piece of glass. Once clear, the cup is now iridized as the result of having been buried for for an extended period of time. The exceptionally fragile pieces is in near-perfect condition.

Named for British collector Andrew Constable-Maxwell who sold the piece for a record 520,000 in 1979, the Cage-Cup was last sold in July, 2004 by Bonhams auction house for 2,646,650 ($4.8 million).

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