Four matching silver wine coolers crafted in England the year Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo have been sold in Victoria and will remain in the city.
Thursday’s auction at Kilshaw’s Auctioneers attracted attention from bidders in the U.K. and across North America, but the sterling-silver set was sold to Victoria antique dealer David Robinson for a record $65,000.
“I like them,” Robinson said of his purchase. “Sets of four are very rare.”
Kilshaw’s owner Alison Ross said the selling price was the most ever paid in Victoria for an antique objet d’art.
Paintings have fetched more. A painting by American artist Albert Bierstadt sold for $200,000 in 2008. But no other crafted antique has fetched as much as the set of wine coolers.
Ross said to have the wine coolers survive so long as an intact set makes them especially rare. And the fact each cooler is intricately crafted makes their survival over nearly two centuries even more remarkable.
Ross said each wine cooler contains three separate pieces, a liner, rim and shell, each of which is numbered.
They were originally fashioned in 1815 for an affluent English family who made their money in mining.
Bids were accepted from all over the world.
“Everybody in London was abuzz about these,” said Ross.