An extremely rare and large George II lead cistern, dated 1737 and with the initials FCE. Decorated to the front and sides with molded trim. The front adorned with three strapwork cartouches, and the initial triad 'FCE' in the center; St George and the Dragon, Prince of Wales feathers, and coronets are on the sides.
This antique cistern is from a Philadelphia estate; it was most likely imported from England during the late 1800s or early 1900s when formal gardens in America became popular.
A copper liner has been added so the cistern could be used as intended or as a fountain. Copper lining could also be removed.
Given the age and use, the decorative panels are in good condition. Please note that there are two drainage holes in the bottom of the cistern and two corner seams have separated.
In England, lead cisterns were often used in the 17th and 18th centuries as a means of storing rainwater from roofs. To learn about the history of English lead ornamentation, please visit our blog.