10319 A large pair of George III mahogany and crossbanded dining room urns attributed to Gillows, the ribbed vases with carved finials and gadrooned edge mouldings, gilt bronze handles, standing on pedestals fitted with drawers and plate racks, one covered with a door simulating drawers and with original gilt bronze handles. Lead lined interiors, the taps missing.
Height; 70 ins (178 cm)
Dimensions at base; 20 ins (51cm) square
Dining room urns or vases were designed to be used on either side of a matching serving table. The very decorative design disguised a practical use. The vases are hollow and lead lined to be filled with iced water and used to fill the individual glass coolers on the dining table. Rinsing and cooling drinking glasses was a part of the theatrics of dining during the 18th and early 19th century and an attempt to refresh glasses between drinks.
The pedestals also combine many functions, from storing used dining plates, rinsing dishes and storing chilled bottles, as well as hiding a chamber pot.
Susan E. Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London 17301840, vol.1, p.315, pl.356, for a similar pair of dining room pedestals and vases with cone finials, attributed to Gillows made for John Bell of Thirsk Hall, North Yorkshire.