The man behind the vision
Carynx celebrates the rich Celtic heritage of the British Isles, taking inspiration from the beauty of the Scottish Highlands and the majestic stag – an integral part of Celtic mythology.
Our founder and chief designer, Sunil Devalia, was born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), surrounded by awe-inspiring nature and swathes of verdant, thriving jungle. As a boy, he was fascinated by the Scottish explorer David Livingstone, who studied Africa’s animals closely and was once attacked by a lion.
After Sunil moved to the UK in his teens, initially to a boarding school in Kent, he found himself drawn to the mythology of the Celts and their deep-rooted respect for the natural world.
All this, together with his passion for design, led him to found Carynx in 2011. The company takes its name from an Iron Age trumpet used by the Celts to call troops to battle and intimidate opponents. This long curved wind instrument had a bell shaped like an open-mouthed animal’s head, and enhanced the Celts’ reputation as formidable warriors.
Our finely crafted champagne coolers feature animal imagery in a contemporary way, and reflect Sunil’s passion for nature and Celtic culture.
The majesty of nature
Throughout history, the Highland stag has been a symbol of nobility, mystery and untamed beauty. Partly due to works of art such as Edwin Landseer’s Monarch of the Glen, this magnificent creature has become a Scottish icon.
The deer is deeply ingrained in Celtic mythology. In dreams, the stag is said to represent male virility, while the female deer alludes to grace, sensitivity and harmony. The rare and elusive white stag has even greater meaning. Its very existence is suffused with myth and legend. Regarded by the Celts as a messenger from the Gods, a sighting of this rare creature was said to herald profound change.
Through the centuries, the white stag has been seen as a bridge between the everyday and the spiritual worlds. According to Arthurian legend, the white stag can never be caught – it is desired but somehow always out of reach.
It later became a symbol of purity, redemption and good fortune. More recently, in The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis, the white stag grants the wishes of those who capture him.
Carynx seeks to express the spirit of the stag.
Learn about the design and moulding processes involved in our handcrafted champagne coolers
Sunil and his team of designers start their creative process with a series of sketches. Their finished designs are then resized and developed into prototype sculptures using modelling clay and mouldable plastic. The modelling process allows further refinement of the features. This additional crafting ensures the trademark intricacy of Carnyx designs. Once the clay and plastic model is complete, it gradually transforms into a pewter figurine through the use of a series of moulds, each one made from a different material and delivering a different creative impact. Wax is used to test the quality of the moulds with repairs and further enhancements made before each of them is declared final. The combination of moulds and processes delivers very accurate figurines with a high standard of finish and complexity. Each figurine is cast in pewter with gold or silver plating applied in line with each customer’s preference.
Discover how we bring the components of our prestige champagne coolers together
The skilled work of a pewtersmith ensures our finely cast figurines and delicate beading are secured beautifully to our vessels. Once the soldering is completed the figurines are thoroughly cleaned ready for finishing. Our vessels are made from 18/10 stainless steel that customers can choose to be gold or silver plated. We use a bespoke process to create the vessel’s shape and polish the surface to a mirror-like finish. The grade of stainless steel we use not only has a lustrous surface but is low maintenance and resistant to corrosion or staining. Many skilled metal workers have asked us how we create the vessel out of 18/10 stainless steel at the size that we do. They ask because the molecules in this stainless steel "remember" their original shape and will return to it when deformed. Our bespoke process, that makes this scale of vessel possible in 18/10 stainless steel, is a very well-kept secret. It adds to the overall quality and stature of our champagne coolers and ensures their prominent role at the greatest social occasions. They’re enjoyed in every luxury location from the Russian Summer Ball to the Game Dinner at St Moritz.