A cellaret may be a case of
cabinet-work for holding wine bottles, or strictly that portion of a sideboardthat is used for holding bottles and decanters, so called from a cellar's 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
furniturethat it eventually became, the cellaret was a detached receptacle. It was most commonly of mahoganyor rosewood, many-sided, octagonal, circular, 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. As the refined, early
Neoclassicismof the late-18th and early-19th centuries gave way to its more ostentatious interpretations known as the Empire style, cellarets became heavier and more ornate, boldly over-emphasizing Roman and Grecian motifs, and sometimes even assuming the shape of sarcophagimounted with lions' heads and animal-paw feet.
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