This is a superb antique Victorian mahogany cased three decanter tantalus with decorative inlaid decoration., C1900 in date.
It was skillfully crafted in mahogany with beautiful shell and line inlaid decoration, stylish silver plated handles and a Bramah locking system. There are three cut crystal glass decanters with stoppers, a mirrored back and a twin lidded compartment for two glasses.
There is a secret base drawer with a set of playing cards that can be opened by pressing a section of the wooden frame which is just in front of the central decanter.
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, which 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 34 x Width 38 x Depth 29
Dimensions in inches:
Height 13.4 x Width 15.0 x Depth 11.4
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.
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.
Our reference: A1278