Date Made/Found: around 1795
Material and Medium: Old Sheffield Plate
Dimensions: Overall: 187 x 170 x 205mm (7 3/8 x 6 11/16 x 8 1/16in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: L1910.12
This is an Old Sheffield Plate wine cooler, made around 1795.
This is an example of smaller tabletop wine cooler. Unlike the large floor standing variety these were used for occasions when only a small amount of wine was to be cooled. Ice was costly to produce and would not have been wasted on a large cooler if not needed. Tabletop coolers were intended for just one or two bottles.
Tabletop coolers were also made in mahogany and porcelain but the largest proportion were in Old Sheffield Plate. The weight of silver required made solid silver far too costly. It was considered respectable to have larger pieces in the table service plated even when the rest were solid silver, even in the richest households. This piece has a soldered-in shield, which means that a piece has been cut out and a more heavily plated piece soldered in its place. This means it can be engraved without revealing the copper beneath.