Object Description

This is an exceptional antique English Old Sheffield Plate silver on copper wine cooler C 1820 in date.

The wine cooler stands on a widespread circular pedestal base and the body and rim are embellished with applied bands of fluting. It has a pair of ornate handles decorated with lion masks and ribbons.

Each cooler is fitted with a removable lid and liner.

The copper shows through beautifully in places and gives this piece its character.

Add some classic regency style to your home with this lovely cooler.

Condition:
In excellent condition with no dings, dents or signs of repair and only signs of use commensurate with age and wear.

Please see photos for confirmation

Dimensions in cm:
Height 27 x Width 22 x Depth 19

Dimensions in inches:
Height 10.6 x Width 8.7 x Depth 7.5

Old Sheffield Plate – or ‘fused plate’ as it is sometimes known, was the first commercially viable method of plating metal.
The material was accidentally invented by Thomas Boulsover, of Sheffield’s Cutlers Company, in 1743. While trying to repair the handle of a customer’s decorative knife, he heated it too much and the silver started to melt. When he examined the damaged handle, he noticed that the silver and copper had fused together very strongly. Experiments showed that the two metals behaved as one when he tried to reshape them, even though he could clearly see two different layers.

Boulsover set up in business, funded by Strelley Pegge of Beauchief, and carried out further experiments in which he put a thin sheet of silver on a thick ingot of copper and heated the two together to fuse them. When the composite block was hammered or rolled to make it thinner, the two metals were reduced in thickness at similar rates. Using this method, Boulsover was able to make sheets of metal which had a thin layer of silver on the top surface and a thick layer of copper underneath. When this new material was used to make buttons, they looked and behaved like silver buttons but were a fraction of the cost.

The technique Boulsover developed was to sandwich an ingot of copper between two plates of silver, tightly bind it with wire, heat it in a furnace and then mill it out in to sheet, from which objects could be made.

Our reference: 09471

Object Classification

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