14 August 2017

A Tantalus for Tamyra

Have you ever heard of a tantalus?  Do you know what they are?  Don't feel bad if you don't, I'd a never heard the word tantalus until a couple years ago when my antique pal was looking for one.  A tantalus, mainly British is a rack or stand that contains decanters, liquors or wines that are secured with a lock.

I've seen them in several antique stores and Scott's Antiques, typically they have a pretty hefty price tag. If the rack contains the entire original decanter set and the key they can range over $1000. While I liked them I knew that they were a bit out of my price range so, I was more than satisfied to just admire them.

While mostly just window shopping earlier this year I literally stumbled upon a tantalus.  I picked up the price tag and it said $40....I looked at the tag again in sheer disbelief and called my much younger shopping companion over to verify the price.  Sure enough it was $40, the set of decanters were missing one of the stoppers and one of the bottles has a crack.  Those 2 factors contributed to the low price of the tantalus.

In spite of the condition of the bottle and missing stopper the set came home with me.  Every now and then you see sets of decanters that aren't in a rack for sale, I actually already own a set of 2, maybe I'll get lucky again and find one that matches either set I have or at the least a matching stopper.

It is a pretty cool piece and I'm delighted to have added this to my collection of English antiques!

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  1. I haven't heard of this before, but it appears you did strike a great deal. I think it is great along with all of your other amazing antiques. You need to open your home for a tour. It is lovely.

  2. You taught me something new today! What a great find!


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