The Chesterfield Wine Cooler

Chesterfield Wine Cooler

The Chesterfield Wine Cooler, mark of Paul Crespin overstriking Paul de Lamerie, London, 1727-1728. Museum no. M.1-199, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Chesterfield Wine Cooler, mark of Paul Crespin overstriking Paul de Lamerie, London, 1727-1728. Museum no. M.1-199, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

'Ice-Pailes', designed to hold a single bottle of wine and prominently displayed in a dining room, were a novelty introduced to England from the court of Louis XIV around 1700. The Jewel House of George II supplied this costly example (one of a pair, the other now in the Royal Museum of Scotland) as part of the ambassadorial silver for Phillip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield when he was appointed English ambassador to The Hague in 1728. When he arrived he added a 50-foot dining room to the ambassadorial residence for entertaining.

Chesterfield was a great connoisseur and enthusiast for French culture and the design of this cooler was based on Paris-made silver of 1710–20. The cast dolphin handles and the four panels chased with the Elements (Fire, Air, Earth and Water) are found on drawings of silver made for the French court. Perhaps Crespin, known for the French character of his silver, supplied the pair to Paul de Lamerie as a subcontractor.

The Jewel House held some second-hand French silver, used as  models by the London suppliers. Chesterfield's issue also included candlesticks made by Elie Pacot of Lille as well as exact copies with Paul Crespin's mark.

Purchased with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, National Art Collections Fund and others.

The Chesterfield Wine Cooler.
Mark of Paul Crespin overstriking Paul de Lamerie, England (London), 1727-1728.
Museum no. M.1-199

Purchased with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, National Art Collections Fund and others.

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