coaster is a type of dinner table accessory, usually circular, that was used to protect the surface of the dinner
table from being scratched by the bottom of wine-bottles.
It is a small circular device with plain or pierced silver or plated sides on wooden bases mounted on baize,
to slide decanters and bottles along the table.
The Farrer Collection contains a fine bowl-shaped bottle-stand made by Ausutin Courtauld in 1741, but the
ordinary varieties of coasters and decanter-stands made their appearance during the Adam period.
The early name for such pieces was a 'stand' or 'slider'; the term 'coaster', first recognized in 1887, was
derived from the custom that, after finishing dinner, the cloth was removed from the table, the ladies
withdrew, and the bottle of port was 'coasted' around the table by the men (G. Bernard Hughes,
'Old English Wine Coasters').
The very early coaster had pierced and low borders, After 1780s piercing and Adam style festoons were common,
while in the 1790s wirework was widely used.
From 1800 to about 1815 the sides were often fluted and the borders gadrooned.
Then came ornamentation with vines, leaves and scrolls.
The wood base usually has a central medallion on which may be inscribed a monogram or a crest
Paul Storr made some exceptionally fine coasters, and a set of twelve is in the Wellington Museum in London.
Each of them is gilt, and the tall sides are modelled with figures of Bacchus with sleeping lions amid
vine leaves and bunches of grapes,
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