Antique Coromandel Tantalus Humidor Drew & Son 19th C

GBP 2,750.00

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Object Description

This is a superb antique Victorian coromandel cased two decanter tantalus and humidor bearing an ormolu label for Drew & Son, 33 Piccadilly Circus, London, and Circa 1890 in date

It was skillfully crafted in a rare coromandel case with a satinwood interior, it features two decanters and seven drinking vessels over a revolving ‘Chapman’s Patent’ humidor. Each decanter with a sterling silver label, one for Whisky and one for Brandy.

It is a decorative piece which is also very practical, and would make a lovely gift.

It is complete with the original working Bramah lock and key, and this locks everything.

In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned and waxed in our workshops, with only minor signs of use commensurate with age,please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 26 x Width 24 x Depth 24

Dimensions in inches:
Height 10 inches x Width 9 inches x Depth 9 inches

Drew and Sons 1887 – 1935

Manufacturer of leather goods, Manufacturer of picnic baskets, Silversmith

c. 1844 – founded by Samuel Summers Drew (d. 1914?)
known for bags, cases, trunks and other leather goods and later silverware.
based at 33 Piccadilly Circus when they moved to premises in Regent Street. First entered a silver mark January 27 in London. Pieces often stamped ‘Drew & Sons Piccadilly Circus’
1888-1914 – also had premises at 156 Leadenhall Street, London EC
1894- also at Kings Road in Brighton.
1900 – Samuel Summers Drew and Ernest Drew were listed as gold and silver workers, at 33 Piccadilly Circus, London, W and 156 Leadenhall Street, London, EC.
1903 – listed as Drew & Sons
1914 – moved to premises in Regent Street, London. Ernest and John Summers Drew entered their own silver mark
1928 – incorporated as a Limited company
c. 1935 – still active In business.

Coromandel wood or Calamander wood
is a valuable wood from India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia. It is of a hazel-brown color, with black stripes (or the other way about), very heavy and hard. It is also known as Macassar Ebony or variegated ebony and is closely related to genuine ebony, but is obtained from different species in the same genus; one of these is Diospyros quaesita Thwaites, from Sri Lanka. The name Calamander comes from the local sinhalese name, ‘kalu-medhiriya’, which means dark chamber; referring to the characteristic ebony black wood.

Coromandel wood has been logged to extinction over the last 2 to 3 hundred years and is no longer available for new work in any quantity. Furniture in coromandel is so expensive and so well looked after that even recycling it is an unlikely source. A substitute, Macassar Ebony, has similar characteristics and to the untrained eye is nearly the same but it lacks the depth of colour seen in genuine Coromandel.

is London’s oldest security company. Established at 124 Piccadilly, London in 1784, and today based in Marylebone, London and Romford, Essex.

Bramah made their first lock in 1784 and the patent was awarded in 1787. The designer was Joseph Bramah. Joseph Bramah was a leading inventor of the industrial revolution, patenting over 18 new ideas, including a new valve for the water closet (toilet), the hydraulic pump, a fountain pen, and a fire engine.

Bramah also introduced a beer hand pump for use at the bar, to prevent fluid loss when barmen went downstairs to pour a new jug! Due to the quality of his manufacturing, his name became a by-word amongst British Engineers for engineering excellence and many of his inventions are on display in the Science Museum in London. You can find one of his original toilets still working in Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s home on the Isle of Wight.

The Bramah lock was unique and advanced property and valuables protection enormously. Indeed it was 50 years ahead of any Chubb lock and 70 years ahead of Yale. Original Bramah locks are most often found on the highest quality homes and furniture.

is a type of liquor decanter in which the bottle stoppers are locked down tightly by a metal bar. This was to prevent the theft of the contents by servants. Like the name suggests, the decanters themselves are visible, drawing temptation while unattainable. A key is required for entry.

The most common types of tantalus holds three bottles or decanters while there are also smaller types housing only two. There are many different forms of tantalus. Often the encasement has metal handles on both sides and ornately carved decor. Crystal and metal versions are also a beautiful option when choosing a tantalus.

Tantalus derived its name from the story of the mythological Greek king, Tantalus, mortal son of Zeus and Pluto. To be tantalized is to be tempted with the unattainable, and the king was sorely tested. He was condemned to an eternity in Hades for angering the Gods and was forced to stand forever in water that, when he bent to drink, would recede and to gaze upon foods he could only reach for and never grasp.

The 1800s saw our Victorian predecessors apply the King’s name to the lockable decanter.

Our reference: A2917

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

We are open weekly as follows:

9:00 - 17:00
9:00 - 17:00
9:00 - 17:00
9:00 - 17:00
9:00 - 17:00

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)20 8809 9605

Dealer Location

Manor Warehouse
318 Green Lanes
N4 1BX

Please note that we are also open on alternate Saturdays. Please call to confirm.

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