Fantastical winged creatures frequently appear in the designs for decorative items executed around 1800-1805 by the St. Petersburg architect Andrei Voronikhin (1759-1814). He collaborated with St. Peterberg's most talented bronziers, Andrei Schreiber (1777-1843) and Friedrich Bergenfeldt (1768-1822) who supplied many ornamental bronze items to the Imperial Court (I. Sychev, Russian Bronzes, Moscow, 2003, p. 94). With its ormolu supports cast as chimerae, the present centrepiece relates to a design for a vase executed by Voronikhin in 1801 (ibid. p. 91). A Russian ormolu clock supported by similar winged dragons was sold in Imperial Design, Christie's, London, 25 November 2008, lot 30.