One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A stand in which decanters of liquor can be locked up though still visible.
- ‘More affordable are Victorian decanters and a tantalus, a lockable case usually made to hold three cut-glass decanters.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The first lockable Tantalus appeared around the mid 19th Century and was first seen in England around 1870.’
proper nounGreek Mythology
A Lydian king, son of Zeus and father of Pelops. As punishment for his crimes (which included killing Pelops), he was forced to remain in chin-deep water with fruit-laden branches over his head, neither of which he could reach to drink or eat. His name is the origin of the word tantalize.
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