A pair of white Carara marble vases of classical form, possibly Italian, made around 1870.
On a square plinth, the circular foot of both vases is of fluted, concave form and decorated with pearls. The lower, moulded, part of the body is decorated with vine leaves and lions masks. Higher up the body shows trailing grapevines with foliage and bunches of grapes, which continue under the rim at the top of the vase. The rim itself is separated from the body by an astragal moulding and decorated with the same mouldings as the lower part.
During the 19th century movement called Historicism, artists and craftsmen tried to express the individual characteristics of their country by reverting to forms and patterns of earlier, successful periods in their country’s history. In Italy, this meant both the Classical period and the Renaissance.
This pair of vases is an example of Historicism both in the form of the objects which is of Classical inspiration and in the decoration of the grapevines, referring to Bacchus the god of wine and pleasure in Classical mythology.