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The bronze-mounted vases, 3ft 3in (1m) tall, have matt gold biscuit handles in the form of winged sirens emerging from acanthus leaves, atop bas-relief Mercury masks; the front of each vase features a large, rectangular medallion with a marine view after works by Joseph Vernet (1714-89) in the Hermitage: one, with figures on seaside rocks with buildings to the left and a tall sailship to the right, signed Memepeko; the other, a moonlit view of figures around a shoreside fire, signed C.Torobz (1832).

The vases stand on square marble bases, each fronted by the inscription (in capitals) Presented to Lady Rolle by Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess Helene of Russia. 1833. Grand Duchess Helena was daughter of Tsar Paul I (1754-1801).