A rare Christopher Dresser Hukin and Heath silver plated bottle holder

For sale is this silver-plated wine bottle holder by Hukin and Heath.  It is a rare design by  Christopher Dresser. It is model number 3128.

The design is classic modernist dresser with Japanese style ebonised handle and geometric bands of silver forming the body. The supporting feet are very modern, of rectangular form.  There is no ornamentation whatsoever.   The mechanism for holding the wine bottle is ingenious.  A spring is attached to the base of the bottle holder.  Once a wine bottle is pressed down, the chained clip at the opening of the holder can be slotted over the bottle’s neck, the spring then creating tension for a solid hold.

The bottle holder was designed in 1893/4, with registration number 1343 for 5th February 1884. See images for photos of the original design registration held at the Kew National Archives.  This wine holder in fact carries the wrong kite registration for 9th May 1881.  On that date no bottle holder was registered but two Dresser / Hukin Heath claret jugs were, and I believe this wine holder simply has the wrong design registration from a manufacturing mix up.  Quite possibly Hukin and Heath were using the same metal strips seen on the wine holder as on the claret jugs.

As an asides, the registration of both these classic Dresser claret jugs  (see images) describes each as a “coffee percolator?”  A rather amusing confusion and no doubt reflecting just how modern and bizarre these Dresser items were to the registrants.   Also interesting is that the registration is specifically only for the metal mounts, not the glass (“metal protected only” is written below both images entered).  This does lend credence to the possibility that other silver manufacturers could buy the identical glass and put on similar (though not identical) Dresser style mounts.

Back to the bottle holder. A near identical holder with different bottle holding mechanism but same model number is held by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, ref 1990.123.2., at this link.

An identical bottle holder (lacking the spring inside the base) is reproduced in Michael Whiteway, Christopher Dresser 1834-1904, xx 75.  This same bottle holder, from the collection of Andrew McIntosh Patrick, sold Lyon & Turnbull, 19 April 2005, lot 32.

Condition of the bottle holders is very good.  The overall holder is complete and original.  There is a slight distortion to one of the vertical rivetted straps and there is loss to the plating in some areas – see images.  Overall the wine holder presents very well, is useable, and will take a sloping shouldered (Burgundy) wine bottle.

Price range: Reserved

Maker: Hukin and Heath

Designer: Christopher Dresser

Date: 1883/4

Marks: H&H, 3128, kite mark

Material: Silver plate, glass

Condition: Very good

Size: 15 cm long (excl chain and collar), 18.0 cm max high,  9.0 cm diameter (all figs approx)

Weight: NM


SKU: A1510-1 Category:

Additional information


Christopher Dresser


Sterling silver

Price range

£5,000 – £10,000


Aesthetic, Modern