The Renowned Collection
New York City
Cellarette, c. 1815-1830
Mahogany, pine, zinc lining, brass
Before refrigeration was an everyday convenience, wine cooler such as this one were an extremely useful luxury. Ice was placed in amongst the wine bottles inside the zinc-lined compartment. Like many plastic coolers of today, the cellarette could be drained after use by an ingeniously placed spigot.
The dramatic sweep of legs highlights the cellarette’s mobility. It was designed to slide in and out from under a matching sideboard. The archeological form derives from an ancient sarcophagi—mortality was a curiously common theme of 19th-century dining rooms.