Serving as wine-coolers from which servants could retrieve bottles, this type of wall-fountain enjoyed lasting popularity from the late 17th Century through to the 19th Century. Placed in the salon or salle à manger, as Philippe Marnet, Paris agent to the Court of Parma, noted in 1768, 'the importance of these rooms was such that one tries to provide the richest decorations possible'. Amongst the earliest documented fountains, in gilt-lead, was that supplied by Jean-Baptiste Tubi, after designs by Charles Lebrun, in 1672 for the Thêatre d'eau at Versailles. In 1750 the Thêatre d'eau was destroyed and the sculptures were dispersed. Tubi's fountain is now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington (F. Souchal, French Sculptors of the 17th and 18th Centuries, London, 1987, p. 337, fig. 28).
In the 18th Century, such fountains remained fashionable and were widely introduced - both for corners and centrally placed. Examples include the corner fountains introduced in 1748 for the salle à manger of the château de Villette (illustrated in J. Whitehead, The French Interior in the Eighteenth Century, London, 1993, p. 84) - which were subsequently acquired with the hôtel by Madame de Pompadour. These latter fountains were sold in the Baron Double sale in Paris, 30 May -1 June 1881, lots 332-4, and no doubt contributed to the revival in interest for such architectural fountains in the later 19th Century. .