The candle vase is based on a sketch in Bouton and Fothergill's pattern books preserved in the Birmingham City Archives (Pattern Book 1, p.170). The ormolu mounts conform in many respects with those featured on the 'goat's head' vase, a model which was produced circa 1770-71, but with the addition of foliate clasps and 'double' handles to the sides (see lot 304). The construction of the base differs slightly from Boulton's usual practice, a feature noted in Nicholas Goodison, Matthew Boulton: Ormolu, London 2002, p.306-308, and fig 281 and 282. In the present lot the upper leaf clasp has been inverted and the finial and nozzle replaced.
A single vase conforming to Boulton's design was sold Sotheby's, London, Works of Art from the Collection of William and Patricia Redford, 13 June 2001, lot 5 (£8,640 including premium), while a pair, formerly in the collection of Eric Moller at Thorncombe Park, Surrey, were sold Sotheby's, London, 18 November 1993, lot 105 (£11,500 including premium).