The design of this vase was based on the antique Gaeta vase created by the Greek sculptor Salpion who lived in the first century B.C., now in the National Museum, Naples. The figures, sculpted in high relief, represent the Greek God Hermes giving the infant Dionysus to the Nymphs to raise him and educate. The handles with decorative swirls at the top of the vase are Zoffoli’s addition to the original ancient design. His signature is also inscribed at the base of the vase. During the second half of the eighteenth century ornamental vases were very popular, in some cases sets of up to seven vases were produced to be placed together on a chimneypiece.