This is a superb antique Victorian walnut cased three decanter tantalus with decorative inlaid satinwood decoration, c1870 in date.
It was skillfully crafted in walnut with beautiful fan and line inlaid decoration and a stylish silver plated handle. There are three square shaped cut crystal decanters with stoppers.
Complete with working lock and key.
It is a 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, please note that there is no key, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 32 x Width 39 x Depth 18
Dimensions in inches:
Height 1 foot, 1 inch x Width 1 foot, 3 inches x Depth 7 inches
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: A3075b