Talk about a wine cooler! This 18th-century silver wine cooler weighs about 150 pounds and, according to the BBC, is "almost big enough to bathe in." Originally purchased at a UK auction last year for more than 2.5 million pounds (about 4 million dollars), it was about to be exported when a consortium of British cultural organizations, calling the massive silver cooler an item of "national significance," rallied to purchase the antique piece.
According to the National Heritage Memorial Fund:
The cooler was commissioned by Thomas Wentworth, 3rd Baron Raby and later Earl of Stafford, when he became the ambassador to Berlin in 1706. It is the largest of three surviving ambassadorial coolers in the UK...[and] would have formed part of the large collection of silver typically taken abroad by British ambassadors to entertain in a style worthy of their sovereign. It was used during the ceremonial surrounding the serving of wine, which was the fashion in the grand dining rooms of the early 18th century.
The cooler was created by Phiip Rollos the Elder, described by the Art Fund as "an English goldsmith, possibly of French birth – his surviving work shows a strong influence of the Huguenot style. He ran one of the most successful workshops in London during the late 17th century, and was appointed subordinate goldsmith to both William III and Queen Anne. Following his death he was succeeded in the role by his son, Philip Rollos the Younger."
If you happen to be in Leeds, stop by the Temple Newsam House, where this amazing item of antique silver is on display.
And if your interest antique silver wine items has been piqued, explore the silver wine accessories we're currently featuring at Nelson and Nelson. Unfortunately, we cannot (at this time) offer an item big enough to bathe in!