This pair very much the type of "soldier" or "dragoon" vases ("Dragonervasen") that Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony, traded 600 dragoons, fully-equipped, including horses, for in 1717, some of which can still be seen in his remaining Japanese Palace collection at Dresden (illustrated by R.E. Rontgen in The Book of Meissen, p. 31). Although by this time Augustus had established his famed Meissen factory, then Europe's only porcelain manufacturer, he still coveted Asian wares. As the exchange or sale of regiments was then a centuries-old practice among the German princes, this trade of soldiers for porcelain was perhaps less startling at the time than it appears to us. In the deal Augustus received 151 pieces of Asian porcelain, including 18 of the massive blue and white vases.
Closely related pairs of jars include a pair with covers in The Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, possibly brought to England from Germany with George I's Hanoverian dynasty, and another pair now in the collection of The National Trust at Petworth House, West Sussex.
A vase of this pattern and size in the variant shape that comes with a domed cover was sold Sotheby's London, 20 June 2001, lot 278. Baluster jars and covers in this scale and pattern have been sold Bonham's London (a pair) 7 November 2005, lot 69, and Sotheby's London (a single), 9 November 2005, lot 322.