These beautiful vases are designed in the Chinoiserie style. Derived from the French word ‘chinois’ for Chinese, Chinoiserie was a European style that was inspired by Chinese and East Asian art and design. These urns were crafted by Henri Journet & Cie, a French firm that specialised in the production of fine onyx items. Henri Journet replaced Eugène Cornu as the director of the company, which was originally called the ‘Société des marbres d’onyx d’Algérie’. These vases are signed ‘Sté Des Onyx H. Journet & Cie / 24 Bd Italiens’.
The vases feature bulbous bodies, with short waisted stems and necks, crafted from an orange-veined, cream onyx. The vases are set on a gilt bronze (ormolu) plinths, which are supported on scrolled legs. The onyx vase bodies are decorated with green, blue and red champlevé enamel depictions of Chinese dragons. Each vase body is mounted with two gilt bronze dragon head ring handles, and their flared rims are edged with gilt bronze wavy, cloud-like patterns.