I’ve always admired cheese coasters for their sculptural quality. Though the shapes of these wooden pieces seem rather foreign to us today, their beauty is another example of form following function in earlier times.
Their purpose was to easily pass large rounds of Stilton cheese down the long dining tables in wealthy homes. The bottoms had either small wheels or were covered in baize. This coaster has a baized-covered bottom.
Stilton cheese was first produced in England in the 1720s and quickly become a favorite. George Orwell mentioned it thusly in his “In Defence of English Cooking.” Certain parasites were and still are used in the production of various cheeses, and in 1724 Daniel Defoe, author of “Robinson Crusoe,” wrote “(Stilton)…is brought to table with the mites, or maggots round it, so thick, that they bring a spoon with them for you to eat the mites with, as you do the cheese.”
Mahogany was the primary choice of wood for cheese coasters. This wood probably best withstood the bending by steam necessary to create their rounded shapes. There are two original notches on the tops of the rolled ends. This coaster has a particularly beautiful color and patina that I have rarely seen.
Although a highly decorative item on its own, it would make an interesting serving piece for any table, including the serving of Stilton cheese, hopefully without too many maggots eyeing the diners as the cheese moves down the table.
The condition of this cheese coaster is excellent for its age of nearly 200 years. There is a separation in the wood near one of the rolled ends. I have had this piece professionally polished.
It measures 15-1/2 inches long, 8 inches deep and 6-1/4 inches high.
Regency Early 19th Century Cheese Coaster
$750 47% Off
You save $355