This is a Davenport terra cotta wine bottle cooler. Pottery was an inexpensive alternative to silver, even silver plated models, and most are damaged. This however, is in excellent condition, without any cracks or chips, and only very minor fritting to the glaze.
The important aspect of terra cotta is that it will absorb water and when taken into the air, the moisture in the body of the cooler evaporates and this has a cooling effect. Indeed terra cotta wine coolers are still made today because they are effective, expecially in a warm climate.
This one has a barrel-shaped and the plain pale tan ground is decorated with a broad band of paling around the base and an upper band of 'Greek key' all in a rich chocolate-brown glaze. It has a pair of dolphin-mask handles similarly glazed. The colour palette is very much in the 'Etruscan' style so popular in the early 19th century.
An identical cooler is illustrated in my book - "Great British Wine Accessories 1550 - 1900" pl. 5/18 p.86.
Dimensions: 9.4", 24 cm. high.
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