Cellaret, noun

CellaretA cellaret (or, as it's sometimes spelled, a cellarette) can be either a case of cabinet-work for holding wine bottles, or just that portion of a sideboard used for holding bottles and decanters. It is a riff on the word cellar, a common place to keep and store wine. Cellarets were usually made from mahogany or rosewood and were often lined with zinc partitions, to hold the ice for cooling wine. Sometimes a tap was fixed in the lower part for drawing off the water from the melted ice. As pieces of furniture, they were handsome and well-proportioned.

The pair of cellarets pictured here were offered as one lot at a two-session sale held July 8-9, 2016 by Brunk Auctions in Asheville, North Carolina. They were attributed to Joseph Freeman, who was active in Gates County, North Carolina in the early 19th century, and were descended in one family in Mount Sharon Plantation, Virginia. The cellarets were both in an excellent state of preservation, and boasted a highly figured walnut top, opening to an interior with the original bottle dividers. With the buyer's premium, the pair gaveled for a robust $60,000.