A George II Carved Mahogany Wine Cistern Attributed to John Hodson of London

Height: 21” 53 cm
Width: 28 ½” 72 cm
Depth: 19” 48 cm
Origination: English
Provenance: With Hotspur, London. The Jerome C. Newhoff Collection; Sotheby’s, New York, 25 January 1986, lot 194.
Circa: 1740

The cistern made from very good quality mahogany and having a gadrooned body on a carved apron supported on acanthus scrolled legs ending in hairy paw feet. The design of the cistern, with deep gadrooning and wrapped with Roman acanthus, is conceived in the George II ‘antique’ manner derived from a Roman marble bath and wine-krater vase.


The cistern is one of a number of known examples that have been identified of similar design which have been 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). 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 to be 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 cisterns from this identifiable group include:

Two sold by the collector H. J. Joel at Childwickbury, Christie’s House sale, 15 May 1978,

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)

An identical example in L. Synge, Mallett Millennium, London, 1999, p. 109, pl. 113.

A recent example sold Christie’s, New York, 14-15 April 2011, lot 478.

Free world wide shipping