First Half 19th Century Armorial Mask Head Wine Cooler. Of pedestal form raised on a spreading circular foot with gadrooned detail. Part fluted to the lower part of the body and an identical armorial to either side. Elaborate mask head handles and a gadrooned rim. The wine cooler appears to be Sheffield Plated and probably dates to around circa 1840, or the crossover period between electroplating and Old Sheffield.
The Armorial relates to the arms of John Johnson (1800 - 1883) of Bank House, Runcorn, Cheshire. John and his brother inherited their father's soap business on the Bridgewater Canal. They expanded into coal mining and supplied coal to the Royal Navy for their new steamships. They further diversified into salt, limestone, pyrites and resin, as well as shipbuilding. In addition they farmed and were involved in the civic governance of Runcorn. The start of their demise occurred during the American Civil War where they attmepted to break the naval blockade in order to supply goods to the Confederate States. Most of their ships were berthed at Charlestown and were destroyed during a bombardment. A heraldry report accompanies this item.
In very good condition with moderate to high surface wear. There is no liner present in the cooler. Some flaking of the silver layer to the interior. A slight tilt to one side, but hardly noticable. There are no cloudy, firescale, marks and the cooler appears to have not been replated.
Approximate weight is 3.5 kilos.
Approximate dimensions are 25 cm height and 22.5 cm top rim diameter.