The term 'soldier' or 'dragoon' was adopted in the early 18th century to describe this type of exceptionally large vase after Frederick Augustus I (1670-1733), Elector of Saxony, and King of Poland, an avid collector of Asian porcelain and a founder of the Meissen factory, traded a regiment of cavalrymen for a group of vases from the collection of Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia in 1717. Among these were eighteen blue and white vases similar to the present lot.
Very similar 'soldier' vases and covers are at Petworth House, West Sussex. Related 'soldier' vases, without covers and with waisted necks, are also known with this design, and garnitures may have been formed combining the two shapes. A pair of vases of this variant shape was sold in our New York Rooms, 23 January 2007, lot 12.