This gadrooned cellaret, wrapped with Roman acanthus, is conceived in the George II 'antique' manner, its form derived from a Roman marble bath and wine-krater vase. It can be identified with a small group of similar design, attributed to the London cabinet-maker John Hodson (d. 1786). The Hodson attribution is based on the 'neat mahogany cistern' he supplied to the 2nd Duke of Atholl for Blair Castle, Scotland in 1738 which remains at the house (A. Coleridge, 'John Hodson and some Cabinet-Makers at Blair Castle', Connoisseur, April 1963, p. 225, fig. 4). Although a relatively unknown maker today, Hodson's sizeable commissions for the 2nd Duke as well as other distinguished clients including Lord Monson and the Earl of Leicester at Holkham Hall prove him a cabinet-maker of good skill. His billhead proclaimed his 'great variety of all sorts of furniture in the neatest and most fashionable manner'.
Other cellarets from this identifiable group include: Two examples sold by the collector H. J. Joel at Chidwickbury, Christie's House sale, 15 May 1978, and another from the Jerome C. Neuhoff collection, Sotheby's, New York, 25 January 1986, lot 194. Others are illustrated in J. Lee, 'Lion Claw Wine Coolers,' Apollo, May 1952, p. 133, fig. 1; two, with the London dealer Hotspur, A. Coleridge, op. cit., figs. 4-5 and a further early identical example in L. Synge, Mallett Millenium, London, 1999, p. 109, pl. 113. Another was sold anonymously, together with a later copy, at Christie's, New York, 17 October 1997, lot 395.