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Wine Fountain

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1965T400
Collection:Social History - Pinto Collection
Date:1650 - 1700


This 17th century English lignum vitae and copper wine barrel has a pewter lining. Lignum vitae wood was imported from the Caribbean from the 16th century onwards. The arrival of this dense and heavy tropical hardwood revolutionized wood turnery. European hardwoods are liable to be porous and the heart wood has a tendency to rot before reaching its maximum girth. Bowls therefore were produced with the grain running horizontally, which limited their size. Lignum vitae, because it contains an oil which makes it water resistant, could be turned with the grain running vertically. This meant that much larger items could be produced, making it the preferred choice for turners producing high quality community drinking vessels.

Purchased from Edward H Pinto, 1965.

Further Information

Production Period:17th century
Place of Origin:England


Height:49.5 cm
Diameter:23 cm