The design of this set of sugar vases is attributed to celebrated sculptor John Flaxman, who used a variation of this urn in his monument for Sir Thomas Burrell in 1796. The design is based on a marble Roman funerary urn from the renowned antique sculpture collection of the 1st Marquess of Lansdowne. Flaxman became Rundell's most important designer around the time the firm became Royal Goldsmiths in 1804. The first known example of these vases was produced in 1805 by Scott and Smith for Rundell's. The design was popular with Rundell's patrons, and received the ultimate stamp of approval when the Prince Regent acquired a set of eight at a cost of GBP376 4s for Carlton House. These remain in the Royal collection of Windsor Castle today.
Roman funerary urn, formerly in the Lansdowne Collection