John Hardy has pointed out in the Christie's exhibition, Flowers of Fire, Kakiemon from the English Country House, 1989, Catalogue, p.24, that large vases of this kind and proportion filled a particular decorative function in a large country house in the early 18th century. When suites of rooms were made out in the French/Italian enfilade manner, the fireplace was usually placed opposite the entrance door, and since furniture was generally ranged out of the way against the walls, it was very much the focal point of attention. It was therefore essential to enliven the hearth when not in use, with plants such as myrtle or orange, or deck its hearth slab with 'bough pots' for flowering branches or flowers. While this was the normal way to display large pieces of export porcelain, really precious porcelain would be kept in the cabinet of curiosities in the lady's dressing/sitting room or closet, where such smaller-scale rarities served for entertainment. The introduction of corner chimneypieces provided ideal ledges for pyramidical displays of porcelain, among which matched pairs of vases of this kind would have served as symmetrical centrepieces.