This ornamental garniture, designed in the late l8th century antique manner is formed as a rostral column. Rostral columns originated from ancient Greece and Rome where they were erected to commemorate naval victories. The shafts of the columns were adorned with rostra or prows of captured ships.
This rostral column recalls antiquities like the Capitolines antique fragment of a Roman Columna rostrata and those popularised by the engravings issued by G.B. Piranesi (d. 1778). In Rome there is a part of an ancient Roman rostral column which has been discovered in 1565 and is preserved in the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Capitoline Hill.
Another pair of rostral columns can be found next to the Roman monument Fontana della Dea di Roma situated near the steps to the Pincian Hill in the east side of the Piazza del Popolo. The plans for reorganizing this Piazza by Giuseppe Valadier (1762-1839) were executed between 1816 and 1820. Columns of similar outline are described and attributed to Valadier in Alvar Gonzalez-Palacios, Fasto Romano. Dipinti, arredi, sculture dai Palazzi di Roma, Roma, 1991, pp. 222-223.
The form of this columnar trophy also relates to a column erected in the gardens of the Russian residence of the Imperial Court Tsarskoe Selo; the twin columns in St. Petersburg (1805-1816) and a stove pattern introduced at the country retreat of Carl of Sweden Rosersberg Palace, circa 1820. The column, placed in the King's Guard Room, is part of the naval theme celebrating the sea battles in the Swedish-Russian war of 1788-90. (H. Groth, Neoclassicism in the North, London, 1990, fig. 146).
Another column of similar outline with anchors to the front is illustrated in J.N.L. Durand, Recueil et parallèle des édifices de tout genre Anciens et Modernes, Paris, 1801, ill. 74.