Jerningham wine cooler

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Photograph of a silver bowl on a stand. No dimensions are indicated. The bowl has extravagant decorations on its exterior and on the stand. There are two handles in the form of mermaids.
Electrotype copy of the Jerningham wine cooler in the V&A Museum, London

The Jerningham wine cooler is a large wine cooler made out of silver in the 18th century.


The original was commissioned 1734–5 in London 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 and weighed 8,000 os.

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 about five or six shillings each. The winner, Major William Battine of East Marden, Sussex, appears to have sold the cooler to the regent Grand Duchess Anna Leopoldovna of Russia in 1738. Since 1743 the cooler has been in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.

An electrotype (silver on copper core) copy was made during the Victorian Age in 1884 in Birmingham by Elkington & Co. in celebration of the original. This copy (see photo) is now located in the Victoria and Albert Museum.