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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "A VERY FINE FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED ONYX VASE"
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During the second half of the 19th Century, due to the West's expanding colonies and subsequent trade in the East, new materials and a new decorative vocabulary were introduced which inspired productions that went beyond the standard repertoire of revival-styles. The public hunger for these goods is exemplified by this pair of luxuriously ornamented vases. Designed by the sculptor Eugène Cornu and probably manufactured by G. Viot and the Compagnie des Marbres Onyx d'Alegérie, their decoration reflects the taste fuelled by the exotic wares n to the public at the Indian, Chinese, Turkish, and Egyptian pavilions of the International Exhibitions during the mid-19th century.
The partnership between the sculpteur Eugène Cornu (d. 1875) - who owned marble and onyx mines in Algeria - and Viot, created luxurious objects and furniture incorporating marble and decorated with enamel and bronze, as well as vases and fountains in marble. Onyx, known since antiquity and used by both the ancient Egyptians and Roman civilisations, was first n in modern times at the 1862 International Exhibition in London to great acclaim, having only been re-discovered in 1849 in Oran, Algeria.
Cornu supplied his Algerian Onyx, through Viot, to other sculptors such as Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier (d. 1905), celebrated for his images of Orientalist figures and busts, as well as Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (d. 1887).