This 'krater'-form vase, designed in the Grecian style promoted by the connoisseur/collector Thomas Hope in his Duchess Street mansion museum, is characteristic of examples produced at Sèvres in the first years of the Empire. A similar vase oeuf, but of larger scale (1.14m high), decorated en fond écaille and manufactured at Sèvres in 1802-3 (18 fructidor an XI), was acquired by the Garde-Meuble Impérial in March 1810 for the château de Compiègne. Placed in the second salon du Roi de Rome in 1811, the socle was obviously unable to safely support the scale of the vase, and it was repaired by 1817, when it was placed in the appartements of the comte d'Artois. This latter vase displays closely related handles en rouleau terminating in Medusa masks, which were executed by Pierre-Philippe Thomire at a cost of 600 F (illustrated in B. Ducrot, Porcelaines et Terres de Sèvres, Paris, 1993, no. 2, p. 51).
On the death of Jean-Claude-Thomas Chambellan-Duplessis (d.1773), Pierre-Philippe Thomire assumed the role of bronzier at the Sèvres manufactory. The mounts on the Longleat vase, with their distinctive stiff-leaf cup holding the bowl, exceptional chasing and casting, and rich contrast of matt and burnished gilding, are characteristic of Thomire's superlative oeuvre.