One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A stand in which spirit decanters may be locked up though still visible.
- ‘At his Street sale on the Tuesday, there is a pair of late 19th century baluster-shaped glass decanters with diamond-cut decoration (estimate 80 to 100) and two late Victorian oak tantalus, each with a very affordable estimate of 100 to 150.’
- ‘More affordable are Victorian decanters and a tantalus, a lockable case usually made to hold three cut-glass decanters.’
- ‘The first lockable Tantalus appeared around the mid 19th Century and was first seen in England around 1870.’
- ‘This tantalus is decorated with exquisitely carved exterior: on the top is a vignette comprised of three birds; a chick and the chick's parents.’
proper nounGreek Mythology
A Lydian king, son of Zeus and father of Pelops. For his crimes (which included killing Pelops) he was punished by being provided with fruit and water which receded when he reached for them. His name is the origin of the word tantalize.
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