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Wine cooler

Wine cooler

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1810 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Watson, J. (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Sheffield plate (copper plated with silver)

  • Credit Line:

    Lt. Col. G. B. Croft-Lyons Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 118a, case 5

Object Type
The form of this wine cooler is based on the traditional staved wooden bucket or pail. Wine coolers were generally made in pairs, and intended to be placed upon the dining table. They usually had handles and a detachable collar and liner.

History & Use
As dining became more informal, with fewer diners seated at smaller tables, new forms of table services developed. The use of wine coolers became fashionable at the French court from the end of the 17th century, and was introduced into England at the beginning of the 18th. Generally made of silver, they were used by the court, aristocracy and well-to-do throughout Europe.

Materials & Making
This cooler is made of Sheffield plate, which is copper fused with silver. The basic material of plating was significantly cheaper than sterling silver, and a wide range of domestic goods were produced that imitated the appearance of solid silver yet at half the cost.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca. 1810 (made)


Watson, J. (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Sheffield plate (copper plated with silver)

Marks and inscriptions

Engraved with the arms of the Wilson and Pierce families


Height: 23 cm approx., Diameter: 20.5 cm approx.

Object history note

Made in Britain by J. Watson (active from 1795, died 1825)

Descriptive line

wine cooler

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Wine coolers for single bottles were introduced into England from France in the early 18th century. They were filled with crushed ice to chill the wine before serving and were used for informal dining, when the table was set for just a few people. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

J. Watson (active from 1795, died 1825)


Metalwork; Drinking


Metalwork Collection

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