The elliptical sideboard-table cistern, embellished in the George II French 'picturesque' manner, recalls the festive presence of Venus and Bacchus. Thyrsus-cones, incorporated in the serpentined handles, are framed by golden ribbon-bands of brass, while Venus's dolphin-scales imbricate the frame's serpentined and voluted legs, which are wrapped by Roman folliage.
The cistern is reputed to have belonged to Henry Hobhouse (d.1792) and to have come from his Queen Square house in Bristol. However, shortly before his death he purchased Hadspen House, Somerset, a Palladian house dating from the 1740s, so in view of the style of this cistern, there is a possibility that it was acquired as part of the Hadspen furnishings. A similar brass-banded oval wine-cooler with acanthus-enriched legs and lion-mask handles, was sold by H.J. Joel Esq., Childwick Bury, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, Christie's house sale, 15 May 1978, lot 92.