This impressive Blue John vase is closely related to another vase of similar form, now in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire (T. Ford, Derbyshire Blue John, Ashbourne: Landmark Publishing, 2000, p. 86), which was made in 1815 by James Shore of Matlock Bath, Derbyshire. Little is known of Shore other than his claim that his vase, which measured 24 inches high including the plinth, was the largest ever made. Shore's vase now has slate handles, although a contemporary illustration of it indicates that these were originally in Blue John (Ford, op.cit., p. 90) and the pedestal was altered in height. The construction of the two vases is the same being formed by a series of rings fitted one above the other.
The profile of this vase is derived from an ancient Greek pottery krater, a large vessel intended for wine. Thomas Hope designed several vases of this form in bronze and gilt metal, including one appropriately ornamented with 'Bacchanalian masks, vine wreaths, and other emblems of Bacchus;' see T. Hope, Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1807, pl. XXXV, and D. Watkin and P. Hewat-Jaboor, eds., Thomas Hope Regency Designer, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008, exh. cat., pp. 416-417.
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