It may be too late for serving cocktails during holiday parties, but Christie's has announcedthe sale of a Sheffield-plated silver wine cooler, given by George Washington to Alexander Hamilton in 1797, will highlight the week of Americana sales on January 19, 2012 (estimate: $400,000-600,000).
The four-bottle wine cooler is a well-documented piece of American history, symbolizing the famous partnership between Washington and Hamilton in the early days of the republic. The silver piece was one of four such wine coolers commissioned by George Washington, to be used for after dinner entertaining.
Washington’s fastidious attention to detail is demonstrated in his letter to Governor Morris, who was tasked with procuring objects to outfit the President’s House, where he specifies the design of the cooler, “with an allowance in the depth of it for ice at bottom so as to raise the neck of the decanter above the cooler…The reason why I prefer an aperture for every decanter or bottle to coolers that would contain two and four is that whether full or empty the bottles will always stand upright and never be at variance with each other."
Jeanne Sloane, Deputy Chairman and Head of Silverat Christie's says, "Christie’s is honored to have been entrusted with this piece of American material history—the only three-dimensional object known to connect Washington with Hamilton, his most important collaborator. We were thrilled to locate Washington’s original letter of presentation dated August 21, 1797, in the Library of Congress."
Never before seen by the public, it is being sold by direct descendants of Alexander Hamilton. More information about the historically significant wine cooler and upcoming auction can be found atwww.christies.com.