Silver wine cooler saved for the nation

  • 25 October 2011

The Art Fund has helped Temple Newsam House in Leeds purchase an important 18th-century silver wine cistern...

Philip Rollos the Elder, Great Silver Wine Cistern of Thomas Wentworth, Lord Raby, 1705–6 Temple Newsam House

Philip Rollos the Elder, Great Silver Wine Cistern of Thomas Wentworth, Lord Raby, 1705–6

The Art Fund has helped purchase an important 18th-century wine cooler for Temple Newsam House in Leeds. Created by Philip Rollos the Elder for ambassador Thomas Wentworth, Lord Raby, the enormous silver cistern is a fine example of Baroque formal dinnerware.

The object

At 83cm tall and 130cm wide, the Great Silver Wine Cistern is an imposing piece. It was commissioned by Lord Raby as part of the allowance of silver plate which he took with him to Berlin as Ambassador Extraordinary in 1706. The cistern and similar objects were essential components of Baroque formal dining etiquette – impressive silverware reflected the status of the host or, in the case of ambassadors such as Lord Raby, the country they represented.

Philip Rollos the Elder

Philip Rollos the Elder (c 1660 – after 1715) was an English goldsmith, possibly of French birth – his surviving work shows a strong influence of the Huguenot style. He ran one of the most successful workshops in London during the late 17th century, and was appointed subordinate goldsmith to both William III and Queen Anne. Following his death he was succeeded in the role by his son, Philip Rollos the Younger.

The acquisition

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey placed an export bar on the cistern in 2010 after it was judged to be of outstanding aesthetic and historical significance. It was purchased by Temple Newsam House from a private collector for the total price of Β£2,073,648, with the help of a Β£140,000 grant from the Art Fund. The cistern is on display now.

Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said, 'This astonishing wine cooler is a real feat of silversmithing and we’re delighted it is on display in Yorkshire, alongside other captivating items of silver. This is a great example of how private and public money can come together and help build UK collections with outstanding objects.'