This is a typical Georgian mahogany bottle tray, but while typical, they are becoming very difficult to find now. Actually they were never plentiful!
The 'tray' has six divisions for bottles with deep notches cut in the sides to accommodate the bottle necks. Each division has two solid mahogany 'angle blocks' of triangular section to hold the bottle securely in place, and the tray can be carried by holding the heart-shaped handle cut from the central division.
Bottle trays appear in cabinet makers' books of prices in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The basic model held two bottles and cost 3s/3d, but extra 'holes' cost 4d each, and 'angle blocks' cost 9d each, so this one would have cost 9s/4d, or if it were the only one ordered would have been 9s/10d! Brass handles cost extra as did astragal mouldings and baize linings.
The bottle tray is in very good overall condition. There has been a small repair to one corner but it is very minor and can barely be seen. There are also two cracks in the angle blocks caused by shrinkage. We have not tried to repair these as they are not unsightly, but we could have the work done by an expert furniture restorer if requested to do so.
This is a good rarity and probably better than the one I illustrated in my 'Great British Wine Accessories 1550 - 1900' (pl 12/18, p.257).
Dimensions: 17", 43 cm. long, 14.5", 37 cm. wide, 7.5", 19 cm. high.
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