Classic Design

The Kent Collection of Claret Jugs: Whimsy and Wine

By Tom Baxter
Sotheby’s is proud to present a unique and joyous intersection of wine and artistry: The Kent Collection of fine claret jugs.

J ust as fine wines have adorned the dining tables of history’s most hallowed figures, so too have the all-important vessels used to transport, transfer and distribute them always played an integral role. Besides addressing logistical challenges such as shipping wine overseas, wine receptacles have been used to elevate table-side experience right up until that conclusive gulp of the imbiber.

At perhaps no time was this inventive spirit more alive than in Victorian Britain. In the mid-19th century, the British appetite for red Bordeaux, or claret, was far from new or showing signs of abating (Samuel Pepys had penned his love of Château Haut-Brion from a London tavern almost two centuries prior). Certain châteaux began bottling their wines on their premises instead of shipping in barrel and, as the Industrial Revolution scaled up silver and glass production, a whimsical table-top creation entered the world of fine dining. Sotheby’s now offers for sale a range of these great treasures in some of their most imaginative guises.

Opening on 7 October and closing on 18 October, Sotheby’s New York sale Design 17/20 features Richard Kent’s extensive collection of claret jugs. Amassed over four decades, this extraordinary collection extends to wine lovers the chance to add that touch of amusement and wonder to their next dinner party that never goes amiss.

Whether it’s serving your Montrachet from a monkey, or your Cornas from a cobra, this collection is one that no fun-loving oenophile should be without.

The Kent Collection of Claret Jugs: Whimsy and Wine

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