Augustus the Strong (1670-1733), the porcelain-obsessed Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, traded Frederick the Great a regiment of dragoons for a collection of Chinese porcelain, including eighteen over-sized floor vases. Ever since, these towering Chinese porcelain vases have been known as 'dragoon vases' (dragonervasen) or 'soldier vases'. Extremely difficult to make, to pack and to ship, these massive vases were destined for Europe's elites, where they stood guard in ballrooms and great halls of palaces and country houses.
Augustus the Strong's vases were blue and white, but most extant soldier vases were made a bit later and in famille rose enamels. 'Chinese Imari' soldier vases are rare.