Designed in the French 'antique' style, in the form of krater shaped 'sacred urns' on drum-shaped altar plinths with double stepped bases, these ormolu-mounted statuary white marble vases served as 'essence pots' as well as candlesticks. With their festive ornament, comprising the god of poetry's lyre badge festooned with laurels hung from bacchic ram-head handles, they represent a more elaborate version of the altar-supported vase illustrated in Messrs. Boulton and Fothergill's Pattern Books dating from around 1770 (see N. Goodison, Ormolu: The Work of Matthew Boulton, 1974, fig. 161 (f)). Described as 'Lyre essence vase, white marble', the pattern featured in the Company's 1782 stock list. Very similar vases are illustrated in Goodison, op. cit., figs. 117, 118. Another pair from the collection of Mrs. Robert Tritton, Godmersham Park, Kent, was sold at Christie's, 6 June 1983, lot 97.