Models of figures with nodding heads originated in China and were exported in the late 17th or early 18th century. The earliest representations of budai stoneware figures with fixed hands and heads were produced by Böttger. European models of seated examples with nodding heads and movable hands based on these figures were subsequently developed by Johann Joachim Kändler at the Meissen factory from the 1730s.
The present faience figure of a magot is a rare example of such a figure produced by the Poskhotchin Factory, which was widely known for its articulated sculptures. A very similar model may be seen in the Hermitage collection in St Petersburg (see exhibition catalogue, L. G. Kheifets, N. N. Antonova, The Far-Eastern Porcelain in Russia, St Petersburg, 1994, pp. 11, 63 anad 131). The term magot was used as early as 17th century; for further information see Christie's, King Street, 11 June 2008, lot 229, The Onassis Fabergé Magot.
The model of a man is modified from J. J. Kändler's Meissen depiction of Frölich, court jester to Augustus II. For further information see H. Hyvönen, Russian Porcelain Collection Vera Saarela, Espoo, 1982, pp. 340-341, no. 128, illustrated. N. Rothstein refers to this figure as Falstaff, probably referring to the similarities with a figure of an actor James Quin as Falstaff.