These vases are of identical model to those in the Palace of Pavlovsk, illustrated in situ in D. Granin et al., Risen from the Ashes, Petrodvorets, Pushkin, Pavlovsk, 1992, p.354. Two further pairs, although with different finials, were sold from Pavlovsk in the Soviet sales at Rudolph Lepke, "Kunstwerke aus den bestanden Leningrader Museen und Schlosser Eremitage, Palais Michailoff, Gatschina U.A.", Berlin, 6 November 1928, Lots 170-171. Both the pair still at Pavlovsk and those sold at Lepke are also executed entirely in gilt-bronze and may conceivably have been amongst the objets d'art bought by Paul I in Paris. However, in spite of the Russian embargo on French gilt-bronzes and clocks, the architect Andrei Voronikhin and the bronzier Frederick Bergenfeldt were strongly influenced by the work of the Parisian bronzier Claude Galle and it is certainly possible, therefore, that these vases may actually be of Russian manufacture.
Although there may have been others, Bergenfeldt's production as a bronzier working in Russia is perhaps the best documented. Born in 1768 in Westphalia, like so many German craftsmen, Bergenfeldt came to Russia to seek his fortune in the 1790s. He worked first in the atelier of the bronzier Yan Aoustin and then with Charles Dreyer. He then seems to have left St. Petersburg, possibly for Paris. He returned to Russia after the death of Paul I in 1801 and established his workshop on the Fontanka Embankment. His advertisements in the local newspapers announce the sale of all manner of bronze ornaments such as - 'vases, candelabras, cassolettes, girandoles, chandeliers, veilleuses etc. in the antique taste and of a quality equal to that of French bronzes'. He collaborated with Heinrich Gambs, supplying many of the gilt-bronzes for Gambs' furniture, but eventually disappeared from view. Towards the end of his life, he successfully petitioned the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna for a position restoring and cleaning her bronzes. He died in poverty on May 17, 1822, leaving behind a large and destitute family.
An identical but larger pair of this model but of part patinated- bronze, 26½ in. (67.3 cm.) high., was sold at Christie's London 22 May 2003 lot 72.