Nationality & Life Dates:
Water Cistern and Cover
Cream colored earthenware
Purchase in memory of Frances Floyd Cocke
On View - Stent Family Wing, Second Level, Gallery 209
This rare Neoclassical creamware water cistern and cover is an impressive example of English creamware. The architectural body, decorated with fluted pilasters and acanthus molding, is embellished all over with water motifs. A central medallion of Neptune molded in relief is flanked by swags of seashells with a dolphin spout beneath, while two mermen holding seashells sit at the shoulders. The cistern would have been placed in the dining room on a wooden stand, with a basin underneath to wash one’s hands. In the elaborate cooking and dining customs of eighteenth-century England’s upper class, cream-bodied earthenware with colorless lead glaze gained popularity. At thirty-one inches high, this cistern would have been one of the largest wares of its type produced at the time.