The magnificent wine-cistern is designed in the George II 'Roman' style and relates to patterns for 'Marble cisterns for Buffets' issued by the Rome-trained architect, James Gibbs (d. 1754) (T.A. Strange, English Furniture, London, 1950, p. 48).
The Roman bath evokes the Arcadian festivals of the Golden Age and the Feast of Venus, being wreathed with antique-fluted gadroons of water-reeds recalling the fertility deity Pan, and by a colourful mosaic guilloche of rosy flowers and golden lozenges recalling the mosaiced compartments of Rome's Temple of Venus. Standing on a pedestal, whose shape recalls the antique wine-krater vases for mixing wine and water at ancient symposia, it relates to the celebrated Roman jasper cistern designed by the architect James 'Athenian' Stuart, and supplied by the sculptor Richard Hayward. Invoiced in January 1758, it was later incorporated by the architect Robert Adam in Sir Nathaniel Curzon, 5th Bt.'s grand sideboard display at Kedleston (J. Cornforth, 'A Splendid Unity of Arts', Country Life, 13 June 1996, pp. 128-131). Its alabaster plinth corresponds to the alabaster columns of Sir Nathaniel's marble banqueting hall executed by the Derby mason Joseph Hall (J. Hardy and H. Hayward, 'Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire', Country Life, 26 January 1978, figs. 8 & 9, p. 196). Amongst the sculptors who may have executed the cistern are Sir Henry Cheere (d. 1781) or Thomas Carter (d. 1756), who supplied a related reed-gadrooned cistern to the Duke of Atholl in 1751 (M. Snodin et al., Rococo: Art and Design in Hogarth's England, Exhibition catalogue, London, 1984, no. S32).
It is possible that this cistern was amongst the furniture brought from Hackwood Park, Hampshire by George Nathaniel, Marquess Curzon of Kedleston (1859-1925). He rented Hackwood from 1905 until his death in 1925.