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This delightful and rare bottle cradle is designed to hold a single bottle at an inclined angle in order that any sediment will settle in the smallest possible area at the base of the bottle. The angle of presentation also allows for the cork to be withdrawn with the minimum disturbance of the bottle's contents.
A similar bottle cradle of slightly later date is illustrated in The Book of Wine Antiques, pl 276. It is interesting that in Farrow & Jackson's Centenary Catalogue of 1898 they illustrate such an object which they refer to as a "Cork Drawing Stand". We have seen late 19th century examples, but they are made from very different mahogany and have an entirely different 'feel' to them.
In the second half of the 18th century there was a vogue for plain mahogany small accessories for eating and drinking, which were used in the dining room. Despite their simplicity, they were invariably very well crafted from fine timbers - quite clearly the products of good London cabinetmaking workshops.
This example is in good overall condition, devoid of restoration, although there are two corners of the base which have been abraided and there is a shrinkage split to the base, something to be expected of the form of construction.
Dimensions: 8", 20.3 cm. long