Coasters were intended to hold bottles or decanters of wine at the dinner table, and act as a recepticle to cash drips and ribbles on the foot of the wine container. As wine contains achohol, and residual liquid remaining on the base could damage the top of the table, more so if the table had a French polished surface. if the table had a cloth, the wine could leave a permanent stain. On a table without a cloth, the felt base also allowed them to be slid from one guest to the next along the top of the table. Made of silver or silverplate, they usually have a turned hardwood base, sometimes with a central silver boss, and usually covered in green baize on bottom. The sides are usually cast or pierced, often with vine leaves, grapes and tendrils incororated into the design. It is quite common for them to be available in pairs
A pair of quality Sheffield plate wine coasters, 19th century, the shaped flaring bowls with applied scrolling rims well cast and chased with floral and shell forms in the rococo manner, with turned timber bases centred with a silver button and woollen fab
A pair of William IV period Old Sheffield Plate wine coasters, with ornate foliate borders and turned wood bases. Diameters 165. Together with a much smaller Victorian period single coaster. Diameter 8.5 cm
A pair of large coasters for ship's decanters belonging to Captain Eben J Thomas R. N. with silver plate galleries and oak trays, each inset to the centres with rondels engraved with a crest: a demi-seahorse above the motto 'A Deo Et Patre' and initials 'E
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