Antique English mahogany wine waiter or bottle carrier/ bottle stand. Ca. 1750-1760.
This rare, larger than usual example, retains its original lion mask gilt brass mounts and it has survived with its original fretted angles. When not in use these wine waiters or wine wagons would have been kept under the dining room sideboard most likely fitted with a lined cellarette drawer.
Excellent colour and patination, in original state, and rare to find in this condition in view of the considerable use it would have been put to in the last 250 years.
These scarce open topped antique Chippendale mahogany wine waiters or wine wagons serve as bottle carriers raised on legs with brass castors. They were designed to allow bottles to be circulated around a dining room for guests to help themselves. They had divisions, and separated from their stands. They also had a central arched shaped carrying handle.
‘Wine waiters’ are often confused with ‘wine coolers’ or ‘wine cisterns’ which are bottle containers fitted with zinc or lead liners to hold ice or cooling water which was drained by means of a brass or bronze tap.
NB. Ralph Edwards in ‘The Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture’ illustrates a ‘Mahogany Wine Waiter with partitions for bottles’ p. 641, fig. 1, ca. 1750.
NB. Interestingly three fine wine waiters or wine wagons were offered at The Samuel Messer Collection of English Furniture on 5th December 1991, Christies, lots 102, 103 and 108. These were referred to at that time as ‘bottle stands’.
Christies sold a ‘wine waiter’ @ £22,325 – lot 40 on 14th June 2001: Mahogany, possibly re-carved and with replaced angle brackets.