This colorful French container is known as a hotte. The exterior of the metal container has been painted light blue with black lettering on the front. The lettering, which reads “Chateau Malescot St Exupery Margaux”, surrounds a central coat of arms. The heraldry depicts a red French style escutcheon (rectangular with a shaped bottom featuring a central point) emblazoned with a white chevron that separates three clusters of roundels arranged in a floral pattern. An open crown tops the shield, and they are both flanked by two lion supporters. The lions stand with both hind feet on the ground in a rampant regardant attitude, meaning they are upright with raised forepaws (rampant) while looking over their shoulder (regardant). This is a realistic rendering of the wine label for Chateau Malescot Saint-Exupery, located in the Margaux-Cantenac commune in the Medoc region of France. Red wines from this area belong to the Margaux appellation. The lions are standing on a curled banner that reads Sempur Ad Netum, which is a stylized version of the Chateau label that reads Sempur Ad Altum (“always reach higher”).
Hottes were used for grape collecting in vineyards all over France during the 19th and 20th centuries. Workers at the vineyard would walk around with the hotte strapped to their back via leather straps and place the harvested grapes into the container. The painted decoration (recent) makes it a wonderful accessory in a wine room or kitchen.
CONDITION: Wear commensurate to age and use with buildup to the interior. Minor loss of paint with rubs to the exterior. The leather backstraps were removed at some point.