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DECANTER WAGON
WINE TROLLEY

This is a stand holding two coasters mounted on four leather-bound wheels with a swivelling handle. They were used in more formal occasions to pass the wine from guest to guest down a long table.

According to Bradbury the trolley was invented in the early 1820s by Sir Edward Thomason, acting upon information received from Lord Rolle who had dined with King George IV.
The King, apparently, "regretted that his noble guests who sat on either side of him were constrained to rise from their seats to pass the wine" and said to Lord Rolle "As you have said that you are going to Birmingham tomorrow, you had better call upon Thomason who may invent some plan to obviate this inconvenience".


wine trolley

Thomason had the idea to mount two coasters on wheels and sent two silver-gilt trolleys to the King, who appreciated the solution.
Possibly this is only an anecdote, anyway all Sheffield plate double wine trolleys available on the antiquarian market dates certainly after 1820.
They are mounted on four large, spoked wheels, often with rib-turned ivory handles. Sometimes they have two circular mounts to fit the decanter stoppers when the wine is poured.

An unusual type of wine trolley is the so called "jolly boat", a wine trolley in the shape of a wooden boat resting on four wheels (or four rollers) having sometimes a pulling shaft. The boat is fitted with two circular recesses for decanters. Some are additionally decorated with an anchor at the stern and a coil of rope at the bow to serve as a pulling ring. They were traditionally made for use in naval officers' messes.
The first examples date back to the sterling silver "jolly boat" (a regular ship's small attendant vessel) made by John Emes in the last years of the 18th century. They inspired the design of a number of Sheffield plate "jolly boat" trolleys manufactured after 1820.






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