The cistern's finely carved lion paws relate to those of seat-furniture supplied in 1740 for Longford Castle, Wiltshire by the Long Acre cabinet-maker Benjamin Goodison (d. 1767) (R. Edwards, The Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture, London, 1968, p. 506, fig. 39). The cistern was formerly owned by Samuel Messer (d. 1991), who assembled one of the most oustanding and distinguished collections of English furniture, clocks and barometers since the last war. Advised by R.W. Symonds (d. 1958), the great furniture historian, the Messer Collection was essentially concentrated on the Chippendale period with particular attention being paid to untouched condition, original patination and fine quality of timber, combined with good proportions, an elegant line and a balanced use of crisply carved ornament. Many of the pieces in the collection came themselves from other distinguished collections, including those formed by Percival Griffiths, Fred Skull and J.S. Sykes.