The design for these urns, a pair of which were shown at the Paris 1867 Universelle Exposition, is inspired by the discoveries during the 18th century of 'Antique' urns excavated at Pompeii and Herculaneum, which themselves were inspired by those of the ancient Greeks, now in the National Museum of Naples. The figures cast at the base are of 'Nike' (Victory in Greek) who according to Hesiod was the daughter of Pallas and Styx.
The Paris based bronzier Servant exhibited at the 1867 Exposition and a description of his display is discussed in both Jules Mesnard's, Les Merveilles de l'Exposition de 1867, Paris, 1867, pp. 167-168, and The Art Journal Catalogue of the Paris Universelle Exposition of 1867, London, 1867, p. 20.
A pair of urns of this same model were sold Christie's London, 29 October 1998, lot 98 (£7,475).