The 'goat's head vase' is derived from a sketch illustrated in Boulton and Fothergill's pattern books preserved in the Birmingham City Archives (Pattern Book 1, p. 171). The design was one of the most popular of Boulton’s smaller candle vases and was produced from 1769, with the first recorded sale to a Mrs Yeats who ordered '1 pair of goat's head vauses light blue cheny or enamelled'. In the same year, Sir William Guise ordered a pair with blue john bodies 'of the purpel stone no medals on' (N. Goodison, Matthew Boulton: Ormolu, London, 2002, p. 331). Other buyers of goat's head vases include Lord Digby in 1774 and Lord Scarsdale in 1772, who paid £4 4s a pair. The model was produced until certainly 1782, when at least 17 were listed amongst the stock. Whilst the metalwork was almost always ormolu, the bodies varied and included blue and green enamel, alabaster, leopard and tiger stone and, as in this pair, blue john. Closely related pairs of vases with blue john bodies were sold from the estate of Guy Fairfax Cary, Christie's, New York, 18 October 2005, lot 554, ($54,000 including premium), another from the collection of Benjamin Edwards III, Christie's, New York, 21-22 October 2010, lot 144 ($25,000 including premium), and another from the estate of the late Robert Moss Harris, Christie's, London, 23 May 2012, lot 304 (£51,650 including premium).