Not currently on display at the V&A

Barrel Tap

1700-1730 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Decanting entire barrels of alcoholic drink into bottles for storage was an expensive and often wasteful exercise. It was more practical to use a barrel tap or spigot like this one to pour out the drink as and when it was needed, either into a decanter for the table or directly into glasses. This barrel tap, which is carved from pearwood to resemble a dolphin, fits into the bung hole of a barrel. The flow of liquid can be controlled by means of a pin with a scallop-shell terminal which blocks the pipe.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved pearwood
Brief Description
French 1700-40
Physical Description
Carved pearwood barrel tap in the form of a dolphin's head with a regulating pin terminating in a scallop shell.
Dimensions
  • Height: 3.5in
  • Length: 5in
  • Depth: 1.25in
Dimensions taken from register, not checked on object
Credit line
Given by W. L. Hildburgh
Subjects depicted
Summary
Decanting entire barrels of alcoholic drink into bottles for storage was an expensive and often wasteful exercise. It was more practical to use a barrel tap or spigot like this one to pour out the drink as and when it was needed, either into a decanter for the table or directly into glasses. This barrel tap, which is carved from pearwood to resemble a dolphin, fits into the bung hole of a barrel. The flow of liquid can be controlled by means of a pin with a scallop-shell terminal which blocks the pipe.
Collection
Accession Number
W.22-1937

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record createdJanuary 29, 2004
Record URL