Hand-carved in France, circa 1850, these fascinating wine press screws have been repurposed to form the columns of this rare pair of sellettes, or tall pedestals. Originally used at a French vineyard to extract juice from grapes by applying pressure, the screws are made of walnut wood.
The turned screws have chamfered edges, which would have aided in the winemaking process; as an element of the sellette, they add to the beauty of the lines. One of the later embellishments can be seen at the top of each screw: a small entablature with thick quarter round molding above large gadrooning. The screw bases are encompassed by a curled leaf cup that is affixed to the top of a hexagonal noix with protruding molding. Three S-curved legs, each topped by a volute leaf, extend from the noix, forming a beautiful tripartite base adorned with recessed molding. A tas de sable (“sandpit”) carving graces the three sides of the noix without legs.
Our large and unique wine press screw selletes would make quite an impression as decorative pedestals. They would also make impressive floor lamps for an office or hallway. Each sellette retains a rich and beautiful walnut patina. We have recently added a light coat of French wax to accentuate the beautifully carved legs and angular form of the screw body.
CONDITION: Very good antique condition with minor age separations and losses. Light rubs and old wood worm damage, with traces of old fills. The screws themselves are most likely from the early-19th century, with other elements added circa 1850.