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This is a superb antique Victorian mahogany cased three decanter tantalus with decorative inlaid decoration., C1870 in date.
It was skillfully crafted in mahogany with beautiful shell and line inlaid decoration and stylishsilver plated handles. There are three cut crystal glass decanters with stoppers, a mirrored back and a twin lidded compartment for three glasses and playing cards, etc.
There is a secret base drawer with the original cribbage board, and playing cards a draughts set. It can be opened by pressing the wooden button 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 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.
Our reference: 09274
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.
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