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These are crazy! However if you had the need to serve 6 bottles of a single wine during a dinner, these would comfortably do the job - if you had strong muscles!
Whether these were originally made as decanters is very doubtful, however they do hold three bottles of wine each, so they could certainly serve as very large wine decanters. Not only that, but a rare form of 18th century decanter was similarly shaped, although smaller.
They are of classical vase shape with waisted panel-cut necks above a cushion knop, or merese, and low conical foot, star-cut underneath. They are fitted with hollow pear shaped stoppers cut all over with 'hollow diamonds'.
These really are a stunning, but recent research (since the above was written) has revealed that they are actually "show jars" - made to contain coloured liquids in the window of a pharmacy! In fact identical jars/decanters are shown in the 1891 catalogue of S.Maw, Son & Thompson , of London, suppliers to the pharmaceutical trade (see image).
Finally, it has to be said that if there were absolutely no doubt that these were originally made as decanters, the price would have been considerably greater - perhaps two or three times as much!
Date: 1880 - 1920
Dimensions: 21.1", 53.6 cm high (incl. stoppers)
Weight: About 4150 grams, or 9 lbs each
Sold (we would welcome news of similar items for sale)
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