Date Made/Found: 1780-1790
Material and Medium: Old Sheffield Plate, glass
Dimensions: Overall (glass bottle only): 77 x 65mm (3 1/16 x 2 9/16in.)
Overall: 305 x 155 x 215mm (12 x 6 1/8 x 8 7/16in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: L1943.146
This is a small liquor frame, with two 1 pint bottles and two tumblers in a pierced stand. It was made by J Younge & Co in Sheffield, around 1783.
The bottles are designed to hold liquor or fruit cordials. These were seldom served directly from the bottle as sediment gathered in the bottom, so most were filtered into a decanter before serving.
Numerous designs of liquor frames appear in pattern books in the late 1700s, suggesting they were popular items. Because the bottles were made of glass they often became chipped or broken, so few complete original sets remain. Sometimes the bases were recycled into coasters for wine bottles or decanters.
The frame is made from Old Sheffield Plate wire. The earliest plated wire was made with copper or brass hollow tubing with a coating of thin fused plated metal secured around it. This did not wear very well and was therefore unpopular. In about 1768 solid plated wire was introduced, produced by rolling mills in strips. The method was improved in the 1780s by former apprentices of Matthew Boulton of Birmingham.
J Younge & Co were plate manufacturers based at Union Street, Sheffield.
This object is part of the Bradbury Collection.