Kentucky Liquor Press
“WOW! I have never seen anything like this. What is it?” are just a few of the questions that popped into my head when I saw this piece for the first time. After doing a bit of research, I discovered this is extraordinarily rare liquor press. Made out of solid walnut, this piece would have graced a successful home in the country and been used in several ways. First, it offered great storage for china, glassware, silver, and alcohol. Secondly, the slide out board would have been used to mix up different drinks. Yes, this was “the bar”.
This liquor press separates into 2 pieces. The top piece has all 12 original lights, or panes. The cornice was made separately and then attached with screws. When the doors are opened, one can see a support that runs most of the height in the center of the top half. This would have allowed for heavy china or earthenware to be stored on top without worrying about shelf warpage. The bottom half is composed of 2 drawers, over a mixing board, which are flanked by two cellaret drawers. One of the drawers has the original fitted, cutlery tray!! (I have never seen anything like that before.) Below the drawers are 2 doors. When opened one sees a black interior. The family I purchased the piece from, in central Virginia, had painted it black to cover up all the staining from storing salted hams inside it. The front turned feet are original, as are, the plain block feet in the back. The knobs and locks are all original too. It stands 7′ 8 1/8″ tall and is 18 7/8″ deep at the base. The cornice is 46 1/2″ wide while the top of the base is 43 1/8″ wide. Overall, the proportions are excellent.
More than likely this piece was made in Eastern Kentucky or Western Virginia (what is today West Virginia). There is a chance it came out of Eastern Tennessee as well. The secondary woods are poplar with a bit of yellow pine. All in all, this a marvelous piece and a sure “show stopper”. Circa 1840.
This piece is totally amazing! The pictures do not do it justice at all.
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