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Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
Wineglass cooler
Vienna, c. 1780
porcelain, relief moulded decoration with motifs from classical antiquity, painted in bright colours, blue underglaze mark
Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague

Winebottle cooler
Vienna, c. 1780
porcelain, relief moulded decoration with motifs from classical antiquity, painted in bright colours, blue underglaze mark
Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague

From early times, the serving of wines was inseparably linked with fine dining. As early as ancient Greece, “sommeliers” sought ways how to preserve the ideal serving temperature of wine during long-lasting banquets, which is attested to by ancient ceramic cooling vessels. In Renaissance Italy, maiolica tableware included wine-cooling bowls decorated with intricately-painted motifs. Throughout the 17th century, the increasingly popular bottling of wine spurred the manufacture of Baroque wine-bottle coolers, initially made of repoussé silver and subsequently also of faience and porcelain.
Another special accessory on the luxurious banquet table during the Baroque period was the seau crenelé (rafraîchissoir, monteith, Gläserkühler) – a wineglass cooler in the form of a deep circular or oval dish with a distinctly scalloped rim, which was filled with ice water or crushed ice. The apertures in the upper edge were used to hang the glasses upside down, with the cup immersed in the ice for cooling. Silver glass coolers (Gläserkühlern) produced in the early 18th century, particularly those created in the Augsburg goldsmiths’ workshops, markedly influenced the appearance of the first wineglass coolers executed in porcelain.

Jiří Fronek
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Wineglass cooler
Vienna, c. 1780

porcelain, relief moulded decoration with motifs from classical antiquity, painted in bright colours, blue underglaze mark

Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
inv. no. 43.581
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