Made during the Meiji Period, a time of great cultural, political, economic and social change in Japan, in which the arts and crafts enjoyed a huge level of growth and popularity, these exceptional pieces are executed in the traditional Satsuma style. Satsuma pieces are always earthenware, and works in this distinctive and delightful style, with fine glazed-painting, are a staple of the art of this era; this pair is a fine representation of such. 'Rouleau' denotes the vase-shape.
One vase depicts a procession of aristocratic female figures traversing a river, while the other shows travellers in a mountainous river landscape. Each image sits above a band, and above there sit stylised phoenix medallions, the necks of which bear phoenixes, dragons, and lotus roundels set against a scrolling leaf ground. Remarkable for their artistry, the portraits and elements within the landscape such as bridges over valleys are particularly charming and delightful.