Silver Cork Holder
A wine bottle cork holder made from sterling silver which is tested and hallmarked at the London Assay office. It takes the form of 2 chased and cast vine leaves, with pins on the back of each to press into the ends of the cork to link together with a sterling silver chain. We can also make this item in carat gold or platinum to increas the value.
This item is for hanging the cork around the bottle or decanter to provide more information to the drinkers of the wine. This product is for wine connoisseurs and will indicate to your guests that you 'know your wine'.
For those interested in how we make this item, it is basically 2 lost wax silver castings linked together with a silver chain. A master pattern is made of a grape leaf and pin by first drawing the grape leaf onto a piece of silver sheet. It is then set onto a block of pitch and the veins and stem of the leaf 'chased' or punched into the surface to give a 3D effect. Another name for this punching process is the French word 'repousse'. Once the leaf has been chased, it needs to be removed from the pitch and then pierced/cut out from the sheet. A pin is soldered to the back; this is to press into the cork when in use. Next a rubber mould is made of the leaf, into which molten wax is injected. This will produce wax copies of the leaf (actually, it is done as a pair). Once several pairs of waxes have been made they are attached to a central wax feeder stem in a tree like form. This is covered with an open ended steel cylin,der (flask) and liquid Plaster of Paris poured into the void. Once the plaster has set, the flask is heated and the wax melted out. The flask is then heated further up to 1200 degrees C when the remaining wax residue will be burnt out completely. At this point, the flask is allowed to cool to 400 degrees and the exact amount of molten silver spun in using a centrifuge. The filled flask is then allowed to cool down to 200 degrees C and then plunged into water, this causes the plaster to disintegrate and allows the castings to be removed. They are then water blasted to remove any remaining plaster, 'pickled' in dilute sulphuric acid to remove oxide and then cut free from the feeder stem.
At this stage the article is taken to the London Assay Office to be scraped and tested. Prior to this the makers or sponsors mark is punched into the surface. Once a positive result has been received from the laboratory confirming that the article has been made with metal at least 92.5% pure silver, the remaining hallmarks are punched into the surface. This independent hallmarking process began in the 1400s and is one of the world's oldest and most secure forms of consumer protection. It is also the most trusted internationally.
Upon arrival back at our workshop, the hallmarks are inspected and 'set', that is to remove the dents the mark punching process puts in and then the polishing process begins. First using coarse compound, moving up to medium and finally a fine compound until the high polish associated with silver is achieved. Three grades are used and around 6 different operations employed. With 2 pairs of flat nosed pliers, the jump rings which hold the chain are opened, connected to the chain, passed through holes in the leaves and then closed. Finally, the leaves are pressed into a presentation cork and placed into fitted, satin lined boxes ready for dispatch.
This is used mainly at a dinner party or wine tasting and to complete your table, why not also use a silver decanter, silver claret jug, silver corkscrew, silver coaster, silver wine cooler, silver cheese stand and a silver bread bowl.
This sterling silver cork holder is nice to buy and treat yourself or for a birthday present for a friend or relation. Also suitable for a silver wedding gift or if the occasion is a golden wedding, the item can be gold plated. It would make a great silver corporate gift.
In the unlikely event of damage, JA Campbell provide a full repair service. You can be assured that all our products are made up to a standard, not down to a price. Nothing leaves the Brentwood workshop until Master Silversmith John Campbell is completely satisfied.