741. Superb Victorian Hand Cut Crystal Oak Framed Tantalus Walker and Hall

 A Very Impressive Early Victorian Three Hand Cut Crystal Decanter Oak Framed Tantalus of Outstanding Quality made by renowned Silversmiths Walker & Hall, complete with its original working lock and two original keys. 

The key operated mechanism tilts each decanter forward allowing them to be easily removed, see image. 

Condition: Good condition with nice surface patination, all three decanters are original with their firm fitting stoppers. Two have small flea bites to stoppers and rims. The silver plated mounts are perfect with no copper showing

Height: 12.75(21cm). Width: (at base) 14” (35.5cm). Depth: (at base) 5.5” (14cm).

Shipped to Renfrewshire, Scotland.

The Tantalus is named after Tantalos, a character from Greek Mythology who offended the Gods and was condemned to eternal hunger and thirst in the afterlife. He was imprisoned in a pool of water surrounded by fruit trees. When he reached out to drink the water or eat the fruit, the water drained away and the tree branches move out of his reach. It is from Tantalos punishment that the word tantalise originates.

The first lockable Tantalus appeared around mid 19th Ct and was first seen in England around 1870.