A wine cooler, which George Washington presented to Alexander Hamilton as a gift, far exceeded its expected sale price at auction, going for $782,500 on January 19th.
The cooler was designed according to specifications given by George Washington himself, and is constructed of Sheffield plate, a layered combination of copper and silver. The wine cooler has been in the possession of Hamilton’s descendants until this week, when it went up for auction at Christie’s as part of Americana week in New York.
Three bidders vied for the historic object, and avid collector and dealer Gary Hendershott came out victorious.
Washington ordered the wine cooler along with three others in 1789, the year he was sworn into office. The cooler consists of an oval bowl that can hold four wine bottles and ice. The unostentatious cooler is decorated only with a lion head and a ring on either side.
Hamilton’s ancestors added an inscription; the text was taken from a letter written by Washington when he gifted Hamilton the cooler upon leaving office. The letter itself is in a collection at the Library of Congress.
Hamilton was not only Washington’s friend, but also the Nation’s first treasury secretary.
(Report: Christine Bolli for ARTFIXdaily)