Marquess of Ailsa’s brass bound oak decanter box with six decanters, 1848


The large and very substantial decanter box measures 18 x 12 ins by 9½ ins deep and is very substantially brass bound. The lid has a central inlaid brass monogram beneath the marquess’s coronet. The partitioned interior includes six original, heavy cut glass decanters with silver mounted cork stoppers hallmarked London 1848 with maker’s mark TW. Four of the decanters have hand written paper labels:Whisky,Brandy,Port,Curaco. The other compartments appear to be for cigars, cheroots, &c. The key for the Bramah lock is missing but the lock has been disabled so the lid can be opened and closed. The box is designed to be carried by drop handles so could have been taken on travels or aboard the yachts which the Kennedy family owned. The date of the silver suggests that the box was made for Archibald Kennedy the 2nd Marquess who held the title from 1846 to 1870. The title was created in 1831 for Archibald Kennedy 1770-1846, 12th Earl of Cassillis and Baron Ailsa from 1806. The main seat of the family is Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire Coast. A handsome and decorative item which could be used today. We have made no attempt to polish this box but the brasswork would polish to a high level if required. The Marquess is also Clan Chief of Clan Kennedy.       aug20/1

Provenance: By descent until the death of Mary, Dowager Marchioness when the family sold off a quantity of surplus items at a sale in Edinburgh in 2009 after selling the secondary seat, Cassillis House.

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