The original was commissioned by Henry Jernegan (Jerningham), a London goldsmith-banker, who wanted to create the largest ever wine cooler celebrating the pleasures of wine. He employed the sculptor John Michael Rysbrack to model the Bacchanalian scenes on the bowl, the crouching panthers beneath and the satyr handles.
It took the German silversmith Charles Frederick Kandler four years to make. When it was finished in 1735, it weighed 8,000 ozs. In 1737 Jernegan offered the cooler as a lottery prize to raise funds for a new bridge over the Thames at Westminster. Silver medals were sold as lottery tickets for about five or six shillings each. The winner, Major William Battine, appears to have sold the cooler to the Regent Anna Leopoldovna of Russia in 1738. Since 1743 it has been in the Hermitage, St Petersburg.
In 1857 the Victoria and Albert Museum made an agreement with Elkington & Co., the Birmingham manufacturers. Exploiting their new technique of electroplating, historic silver was reproduced ‘increasing the copies of fine specimens ‘ that not only the consumer may become familiar with the beauties, but both artist and artisan may also be able to compare the same with their own productions.
The scheme was so successful that it was extended to other European collections, including those in Imperial Russia. The Jerningham wine cooler was one of about 200 examples of English silver in Russia to be electrotyped.
This wine cistern is just another example of the fine, rare, collectible, usable, everyday, museum & investment items that are always for sale at EstateSilver.com and at our Manhattan gallery.