This vase of unusual large size is made out of a pink Swedish granite which is often referred as 'porphyre de Suède'. Its size would indicate a important commission and was almost certainly a gift by Carl XIV Johan of Sweden who reigned from 1818 to 1844, and whose family owned the porphyry mines. The King is known to have presented similar pieces to a number of Napoleon's maréchaux. This includes a large tazza given to Etienne-Maurice Comte Gérard, Maréchal de France, offered by Christie's Monaco, 2 July 1993, lot 235. Princesse Cécile Murat's ties to both the Murat and Ney families, both of whom had originally been among Napoleon's foremost maréchaux and it is likely that this vase was a Royal gift to one of her ancestors.
A monumental urn, also made of a very similar pale red 'granitell', stands outside the pavillion at Rosendal in Djurgarden just outside Stockholm, and is illustrated on the back cover of Porfyr, Stockholm, 15 December 1985 - 2 February 1986.