Overall: 2 1/4 x 9 1/8 x 3 in. ( 5.7 x 23.2 x 7.6 cm )
Cast iron cork press ( or squeezer) with molded acanthus leaf pattern on top legs; three molds for corks of different diameters.
According to the donor, this cork squeezer belonged to her father, John Vaché Cox. The properties of cork were perfect for the irregularly formed mouths of free-blown bottles which had finishes that were hand tooled with a commensurate lack of precision. Corks were soaked in water and then squeezed into the proper shape for insertion into the bottles with a tool called a "cork press." Often customers, in an attempt to reduce cost, would bring in their own bottles to be decanted. These then needed to be sealed with a cork before the customer took them away.
Gift of Isabella Vaché Cox
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.