These impressive bronze vases were almost certainly supplied to Baron Mayer Amschel de Rothschild as part of the furnishings of his celebrated country residence in Buckinghamshire, Mentmore. This extraordinary building was designed by the architect Joseph Paxton in 1850, whose building of the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition in 1851, with which Baron Mayer was involved, was to cement his reputation. Mentmore, which was the first major building project undertaken by the Rothschilds in England, was designed by Paxton in a grandiloquent Elizabethan revivial style, incluenced by buildings such as Hardwick Hall and Wollaton Hall. It was filled with treasures typical of the goüt Rothschild, ranging from a chimneypiece reputedly from Rubens' house in Antwerp to giltwood throne chairs from the Palazzo Ducale in Venice and a magnificent collection of French eighteenth century works of art. These imposing vases, which were probably specifically commissioned for the house, were certainly appropriate for such grand surroundings. For more information on Mentmore, see note to lot 77.