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This is a fine and rare pair of terra cotta wine coolers by Wedgwood made in the opening years of the 19th century. Each has a body finely cast with overal fruiting vine decoration of fruit, foliage and tendrils and is fitted with a pair of mask handles, 'hatted' with vine-leaves.
The 'body' of the pottery is porous, so it absorbs water which aids the cooling of the wine, so these are a practical as well as highly decorative pair of wine coolers.
There is a chip to the base of one wine cooler and a glued crack on one handle of the other but the coolers are in overall good condition with the decoration showing its crisp decoration well. We have not attempted any restoration and little is needed.
It would be expected that the masks forming the handles would be of Bacchus, the god of wine, but the masks do have a distinctly feminine appearance!
There is a very similar wine cooler in the Wedgwood museum cast from the same moulds. Another, but single example was noted in a London saleroom in recent years but in a poorer state.
Dimensions: 10", 25.4 cm. high