pair of rare ormolu amethyst quartz vases and covers were auctioned at Bonhams in
and banded winged-figure vases were originally a garniture of three vases with
one, or perhaps a pair, being candelabra. One vase is now missing. Both vases are marked EMO on the base. They
are, almost certainly, those listed in the 1907 Marriage Settlement inventory
for the 6th Earl of Portarlington, which
was a complete list of the contents of
Matthew Boulton was the first English manufacturer of ornamental pieces in ormolu, the French having previously excelled in their production. His models were expensive and his varied stock included candlesticks, ice pails, clock cases, and, most especially, vases. The mania for ornamental vases (Josiah Wedgwood called it “vase madness”) led to many variants of the vases illustrated above being made for clients as prestigious as the Prince of Wales, who bought a pair as candelabra at Christie’s sale in 1772. A letter dated 1772 records the first mention of the model stating that the Earl of Stamford had bought “the winged vase” for 12 guineas.
possible that the vases were sold (as were most of the contents of