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Antique Tantalus

Original price $1,450.00 - Original price $1,450.00
Original price
$1,450.00
$1,450.00 - $1,450.00
Current price $1,450.00

Antique Tantalus with three decanters, made by George Betjemann & Sons of London, the original patent holders for the locking tantalus. Includes key

A Tantalus is a small wooden cabinet containing two or three decanters. Its defining feature is that it has a lock and key. The aim of that is to stop unauthorised people drinking the contents (in particular, "servants and younger sons getting at the whisky"), while still allowing them to be on show. The name is a reference to the unsatisfied temptations of the Greek mythological character Tantalus.

The original patent in 1881 (UK Patent 58948) was by George Betjemann, a cabinet maker from Germany. Betjemann & Sons had workshops at 34–42 Pentonville Road, London from the 1830s.