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Wine Cooler

A work made of mahogany, lead lining and brass hardware.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of mahogany, lead lining and brass hardware.


c. 1821


Mack, Williams, and Gibton
Irish, 1811-1829
after a design by Francis Johnston
Irish, 1760-1829
Dublin, Ireland

About this artwork

In the 18th century, open wine cisterns were replaced by covered wine coolers, which kept wine cold for a longer period of time. This example is based on Roman sarcophagi and has been given expressive form by the Dublin architect Francis Johnston. A variation on a plate in Thomas Sheraton’s Cabinet Dictionary (1803), it has richly carved ornamentation—including a cluster of grapes and four lions’ heads, representing Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and revelry. Made for Richard Colley Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley (elder brother of the Duke of Wellington) while serving as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, it was probably used in Dublin Castle, his official residence.

As Wellesley was a founding member of the Order of Saint Patrick in 1783 and in 1810 became a member of the Order of the Garter, his badges for these societies appear on either side of a crowned harp emerging from a field of shamrocks.


Currently Off View


Applied Arts of Europe


Francis Johnston (Designer)


Wine Cooler


Ireland (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Mahogany, lead lining and brass hardware


73.1 × 108.6 × 64.8 cm (28 3/4 × 42 3/4 × 25 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Richard T. Crane Jr. Memorial, Neville and John H. Bryan Endowment funds; purchased with funds provided by L. Knife and Son Charitable Gift Fund; through prior gift of David Adler; European Decorative Arts General, Kay and Frederick Krehbiel funds; through prior bequests of Florence H. Crane and Eugene A. Davidson; through prior gifts of Caroline Wicker, the Antiquarian Society and Mrs. Charles Netcher II

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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