This magnificent Hackwood sideboard wine-cistern, conceived as an antique strigil-fluted sarcophagus with Egyptian ivy-tied lion handles, is likely to have been designed under the direction of the court architect Lewis Wyatt (d.1853), and reflects the antique style that he and Charles Heathcote Tatham (d. 1842) were promoting at the Carlton House mansion of George, Prince of Wales, later George IV. Similar ornament, likely to have been designed under Tatham's direction, featured on bronze and silver ornaments in the possession of the connoisseur Thomas Hope (d.1831) (T. Hope, Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1807 pls.49 and 52). The dining room of Hackwood House, Hampshire formed part of the aggrandisement of the mansion carried out by Wyatt following the inheritance of the estate in 1807 by the William Orde-Powlett, 2nd Lord Bolton, (d. 1850). The cistern, which accompanied a Grecian-pedimented sideboard with laurel-wreath plate-stand, was noted as "A Handsome Mahogany Cistern" in a Memorandum of May 1813 drawn up by G. and R. Gillow and Co. (Hampshire RO, Bolton Papers, 11M49 4681)
Apart from this wine-cooler, which the Bolton's retained, the Hackwood Dining Room suite remained in situ and was sold in 1935 with Hackwood to William Berry, 1st Viscount Camrose (d.1954). The chairs and the dining table were sold by the Trustees of the late Viscount Camrose at Christie's House sale, Hackwood Park Hampshire, 20-22 April 1998, the dining chairs being lot 158 (£199,500) and the dining-table lot 163 (£155,500).
It is also interesting to note that the design for this wine-cooler parallels with the contemporary silver of Digby Scott, Benjamin Smith and Paul Storr. For example, the vine-wreathed frieze can be seen in designs by Rundell, Bridge and Rundell from a design book, now in the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum, (V&A 94G 43).
Whilst the fruiting-vine running frieze carving does unusually continue beneath the lion-masks, there is no indication to suggest that the lion-masks are a slightly later addition to the design; indeed they are intrinsic to its Grecian ornament. Moreover, the remarkably pure and untouched state of preservation of all the Gillows' furniture from Hackwood, from 1813 until the present day, would further strengthen this conclusion.