This elegant marble urn was almost certainly made by Lorenzo Bartolini, who rose to prominence in the early 19th century as sculptor to Napoleon’s sister Elisa Baciocchi, who was Grand Duchess of Tuscany between 1809 and 1814. Bartolini directed the Grand Duchess’ Banca Elisiana in Carrara, where he was responsible for the vast output of quality portraits of members of the Imperial family. Bartolini is nonetheless famous for his sublime ‘La fiducia in dio,’ representing a kneeling girl in prayer, of which the prime version is in the Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan. The present urn is near identical to a drawing by Bartolini which is preserved in the Museo Civico, Prato, Pianetti bequest (no. 7; inv. no. 1027). Another vase made to the same design is in the sculpture gallery at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire (illustrated in Falletti et al, op. cit, p. 198). This vase is as acquired by William Cavendish 6th Duke of Devonshire, the ‘Bachelor duke’ who was one of the British greatest collectors of sculpture of the 19th century. Both the Chatsworth vase and the present vase share the same beautifully executed entwined snake handles, which can also be seen on another vase by Bartolini in Bologna (Falletti et al, op. cit, no. 10b). Related literature F. Falletti, S. Bietoletti and A. Caputo (eds.), Lorenzo Bartolini. Beauty and truth in marble, exh. cat. Galleria dell’ Accademia, Florence, 2011, pp. 196-199.