George Washington preferred a style of dining that allowed his guests to help themselves to food and drink. Anticipating large presidential entertainments, he ordered twelve wine coolers from England in October 1789. Eight two-bottle coolers were for serving Madeira and claret during the meal, while "four quadruple coolers" were for after dinner use. Washington requested that his coolers be fitted with individual holders for each decanter so that they would "always stand upright and never be at variance with each other." After its arrival in 1790, this two bottle cooler was used at state dinners at the President's Mansion in Philadelphia. It continued to provide Washington with an orderly dinner table upon his retirement to Mount Vernon.


Elliptical wine cooler of fused silverplate on copper composed of a basin and reproduction removable lid; raised bombé basin with cornice and applied, cove molded foot; cast lion's mask and ring handles on each short side; two short conical projections with flat tops sitting on flattened knops in interior of well, arranged to correspond to the center of the two openings of the lid.

Reproduction removable lid with two circular openings; each of the openings is surrounded by a pierced, reeded collar above and a plain plated collar below the surface of the lid.

Two reproduction cylindrical baskets constructed of silver wire with short cylindrical cap projecting from their center base, are mounted on the projections inside the basin and kept in place by the lower collars of the lid; each basket is composed of a silver wire base and top rim united by loops of silver wire; the base of each basket is composed of seven loops of wire arranged like flower petals around the top of a short cylinder at their center.





Fused silverplate on copper, silver


Overall: 8 1/4 in. x 11 3/8 in. x 7 in. (20.96 cm x 28.89 cm x 17.78 cm)
Other (Bottle openings): 3 7/8 in. x 3 7/8 in. (9.86 cm x 9.86 cm)
Other (Basin): 7 in. x 10 in. x 6 1/8 in. (17.78 cm x 25.4 cm x 15.56 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mary Lee Bowman and Robert E. Lee IV, 1981

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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