This wine-cooler belongs to a distinguished group attributed to Samuel Norman; all conform to the same basic pattern but vary in details, particularly the mounts. Among the closest parallels are the pair supplied to Sir Lawrence Dundas by Samuel Norman circa 1764 (A. Coleridge, 'Sir Lawrence Dundas and Chippendale', Apollo, September 1967, p. 165, fig. 8). Sold by the Marquess of Zetland from 19 Arlington Street at Christie's sale, 26 April 1934, lot 76, either these (or an almost identical example) are photographed in situ at 19 Arlington Street in 1902 (John Cornforth, London Interiors, London, 2000, p. 56 - 57). Interestingly, Dundas was certainly wary of overcharging by cabinet-makers, having successfully disputed Samuel Norman's bill of 1763.
A similar cistern and stand, which like the Aske pair lacks satyr heads, has been identified with the furniture supplied by Norman in the mid-1760's to Robert, 4th Earl of Holderness (d.1778) for Hornby Castle, Yorkshire. It is now in The Gerstenfeld Collection (E. Lennox-Boyd, ed., Masterpieces of English Furniture: The Gerstenfeld Collection, London, 1998, p. 225, cat. no. 66). It is just visible in situ in the Great Hall at Hornby in a Country life photograph of 1906, standing in the window bay.
A pair identical to the Dundas pair but with an additional satyr-mask plaque, was in the Untermyer Collection (Y. Hackenbroch, English Furniture with some Furniture from Other Countries in The Irwin Untermyer Collection, London, 1958, pl. 28, fig. 47). A more simply mounted example was sold by Christie's at Elveden Hall, Thetford, 21-24 May 1984, lot 497 and another cooler of this model was sold by Christie's, 23 June 1983, lot 52. A pair of stools with bases of the Aske Untermyer model, almost certainly adapted from wine-cooler stands are at Inverary Castle (A. Coleridge, 'English Furniture in the Duke of Argyll's Collection at Inverary Castle', Connoisseur, March 1968, p. 156, fig. 8). Finally, a more elaborately mounted version is illustrated in R. Edwards and P. Macquoid, The Dictionary of English Furniture, rev. edn., 1954, vol. III, p. 373, fig. 5, whilst a wine-cooler identically mounted to the Dictionary example was sold at Christie's London, 10 July 2003, lot 10.
In 1760 the eminent cabinet-maker Samuel Norman had taken over the Sutton Street premises, as well as the stock in trade of brass work of Paul Saunders (d.1771). He was appointed 'Master Carver' to George III's Board of Works in 1763, and in that same year was introduced to Sir Lawrence Dundas by his architect Robert Adam (d.1792) (P.A. Kirkham, 'Samuel Norman', Burlington Magazine, October 1969, pp. 501 - 513).
H. J. (Jim) Joel formed a superb collection of English Furniture. Like many other collectors of the middle years of the twentieth century, Joel was advised by R. W. Symonds, the collection bearing his distinctive imprint. However, unlike some of his contemporaries, Jim Joel's collection encompassed a wide variety of genres that included French furniture; oriental rugs; English, European and Oriental porcelain; but especially close to his heart was a passion for Sporting Art, reflecting his love of The Turf. His father and uncle were pioneering British diamond merchants and founded the Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Company Limited, known as Johnnies, of which Jim Joel was Chairman after his father, Jack's death in 1940.
His collection was sold in a monumental two-part Christie's house sale, on 15-17 May 1978 and the pictures sold in these Rooms, 23 June 1978. This wine cooler was originally included in the Childwick Bury sale - but was withdrawn at the butler's request as he required something to put flowers in ! The contents of his London flat at 15 Grosvenor Square were sold in these Rooms on 17 April 1980 and the final portion was sold from the Stud House, Childwick Bury, Hertfordshire, Christie's, 1 April 1993.