Of traditional shape for a wine cooler of the mid to late 18th century, this piece is somewhat of a conundrum. The brass bound staved oval piece has a fitted interior divided into twelve sections that are original to the piece. On first glance it appears to be a wine carrier as there is no evidence that the piece has ever had a lead or zinc lining, indicating its use as a wine cooler nor is there any evidence that it ever sat on a stand. However the size of the individual sections would suggest that it could hold a dozen double magnums or larger, the resulting weight making it impractical to be a portable piece.
Possibly it was commissioned as a display piece for custom fitted items, but until further evidence emerges, this unique example of fine English furniture can be used to display the finest wines of any great collection.