An attractive Edwardian English silver plated three bottle tantalus set by renowned silversmith Walker & Hall, circa 1900 in date.
It features a unique ‘Hold Fast’ patented locking mechanism and has three hand cut crystal decanters with stoppers.
Inscribed on the base:
Presented to B. Waite, Esquire.
By his staff of The Q Division N.T. Cos Inventory, 1910-11
The top of the tantalus slides across, releasing the bottles, and comes complete with working lock and original key.
Add this elegant touch to your home with this lovely piece.
In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation of condition.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 31 x Width 38 x Depth 17
Dimensions in inches:
Height 12.2 x Width 15.0 x Depth 6.7
Tantalus 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. To be tantalized is to be tempted with the unattainable, and the king, condemned to an eternity in Hades, was sorely tested. He 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: 09479