~ Georgian Antique Brass Bound Mahogany Wine Cooler ~
A very handsome antique piece of furniture that is practical even if not used for its original, intended purpose.
A capacious, hinged, octagonal box, it is designed to either sit on smart tapered legs or upon the floor or even a large table say.
The lead liner that would have originally helped keep the bottles of wine cool has long gone, and we imagine that instead this lovely piece of furniture has been used as a display table-cum-cabinet for some time.
The octagonal case and hinged lid are bound with brass bands, the condition of which (along with hinges and working lock) is very nice. The wood of the lid itself may have expanded a little though, as it seems to take rather a lot of effort to push it down to lock tight.
On either side of the box is a regal lion with a circular handle gripped in its maw. Both show slight signs of verdigree but are still very grand.
On the underside of the box is a very old label for Richard Jones & Co. a high street store that opened its doors in 1850 in Chester, originally as a drapery outlet.
Quite a lovely addition then, that has helped us assess this piece’s date of manufacture to be around 1875, after the store expanded to sell homewares and furniture – an early department store if you like.
~ Dimensions ~
The octagon is 21 by 21 inches (53 x 53 cm) and stands 25 inches tall (63.5 cm)on its legs, or 14 and a half inches tall (37 cm) without them.
Both pieces together weigh 15.85 Kg
~ Condition ~
In general the piece is in very good condition. It certainly could be improved with a little professional restoration, however the slight amount of wear this piece has withstood, does not give it a tired or shabby appearance.
There is staining inside from long (long) dead mildew, consistent with the condensation that the piece’s original function would have generated.
The top surface has good rich lustre, but there are one or two light cracks in the varnish that are around 4 inches in length and half a dozen very shallow scratches too.
Some scuffing can be seen on the feet – but we photographed the very worst and are satisfied that considering the cooler’s age, this is extremely light cosmetic damage that could be improved even by an amateur working beeswax into the wood.
The lock works, the key is sturdier than it is fragile, it’s tasselled fob might benefit from a trim.
In all this is a very well made piece of furniture that has had owners who cared for it for most of its time.