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The project was inspired by an 18th century mahogany cistern with hairy paw feet made by Benjamin Goodison (1700-67), one of the royal cabinet-makers. It is a rare example with fewer than about 10 known.

After an evening contemplating the original, which Wingett had bought as a gift for his partner, the pair came up with the idea of creating its modern counterpart.

Using a selection of ‘unfashionable and redundant’ silver items, a contemporary silversmith cast the new cistern using the lost-wax process. The resulting work, dubbed the Burton Fleming silver cast wine cistern, weighs 3068 troy oz (210lbs), roughly the equivalent of a baby elephant.

Though the development of the first cast, which has already sold, took around 18 months, subsequent models for individual buyers take around three or four months each. A maximum of eight cisterns will be produced.

Burton Antiques is in Driffield, East Yorkshire, and offers a variety of furniture, sculpture, works of art, ceramics and silver.

burtonantiques.com