On the strength of Thomas Goode's display, Mintons was awarded the Grand Prize at the Paris Universelle Exposition of 1878-79, winning great acclaim for the factory and for Solon as an individual artist.
U.S. Commissioner Blake, in his Reports of the United States Commissioners to the House of Representatives observes, "To Praise the work of Minton & Co. of Stoke-on-Trent would be to 'gild refined gold'. Their contributions to the Paris Exhibition of 1878 do not lessen their fame; it would be difficult to increase it. We give on this page six of their more prominent productions." See The Illustrated Catalogue of the Paris International Exhibition, 1878, London, p. 34 for an engraving of six vases including a vase of similar form to the present lot.
Mintons is recorded as sending a supplemental delivery to Thomas Goode. As the present vases are dated 1879 and have marks for the Exhibition of 1878, it is likely that they were part of this subsequent delivery. In addition, they are a testament to the popularity of the form.
Also see Commissioner Blake's report p. 133 where he notes Solon's "work is incomparably superior to that of any of his immitators, far surpassing in art value the best examples of figure subjects from the kilns of Sèvres. He alone fully and satisfactorily unites skill in the technique of paste and glaze and the genius of sculptor and designer. His favourite subjects, as is well known, are the female form, Cupids and cherubs. He delights in illustrating the pranks Cupid plays with the hearts of maidens.'
See Bernard Bumpus, Pâte-sur-Pâte, London, 1992, p. 110 for a pair of vases of the same form, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.