This is a superb antique Victorian oak cased three decanter tantalus with decorative silver plated cut brass mounts and carry handles to the sides, circa 1870 in date.
This magnificent tantalus features three wonderful hobnail cut square decanters with faceted ball stoppers and a mirrored back. The twin flap compartment in front revealing a delightful divisioned interior with playing cards, bridge scoring notepads and a silver plated scoreboard with pegs for cribbage, etc.
There is a secret compartment in the base which can be opened by pressing the front lower right-hand side and it rotates revealing eight lovely cut glass glasses.
There is also a secret cedar lined drawer on the right hand side, for cigars and cigarettes, which can be opend by pressing a button under the flaps just in front of the decanters.
It is complete with a high quality working Bramah lock and key, which locks everything.
It is a truly decorative piece which is also very practical and would make a lovely gift.
In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned and waxed in our workshops, the decanters with no chips or damage, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 36 x Width 36 x Depth 32
Dimensions in inches:
Height 14.2 x Width 14.2 x Depth 12.6
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.
Oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus – Latin “oak tree” having approximately 600 extant species. Oak wood has a density of about 0.75 g/cm3, great strength and hardness, and is very resistant to insect and fungal attack because of its high tannin content. It also has very appealing grain markings, particularly when quartersawn. Oak wood is very durable, easy to maintain and resistant to wear and tear which is why it can be easily handed to the next generations if taken well care of.
Oak wood virtually lasts forever and you can still admire oak furniture in museums and palaces even if it was made many centuries ago. Oak has been prized since the Middle Ages for use in interior panelling of prestigious buildings such as the debating chamber of the House of Commons in London and in the construction of fine furniture.
Our reference: 09648