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Cellaret

CELLARET (i.e. little cellar), strictly that portion of a sideboard which is used for holding bottles and decanters, so called from a cellar (which in general may be any underground unlighted apartment) being commonly used for keeping wine. Sometimes it is a drawer, divided into compartments lined with zinc, and sometimes a cupboard, but still an integral part of the sideboard. In the latter part of the 18th century, when the sideboard was in process of evolution from a side-table with drawers into the large and important piece of furniture which it eventually became, the cellaret was a detached receptacle. It was most commonly of mahogany or rosewood, many-sided or even octagonal, and occasionally oval, bound with broad bands of brass and lined with zinc partitions to hold the ice for cooling wine. Sometimes a tap was fixed in the lower part for drawing off the water from the melted ice. Cellarets were usually placed under the sideboard, and were, as a rule, handsome and well-proportioned; but as the artistic impulse which created the great 18th-century English school of furniture died away, their form grew debased, and under the influence of the English Empire fashion, which drew its inspiration from a bastard classicism, they assumed the shape of sarcophagi incongruously mounted with lions' heads and claw-feet. Hepplewhite called them "gardes du vin"; they are now nearly always known as "wine-coolers."

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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