The son of the celebrated goldsmith Luigi Valadier (d. 1785), Giuseppe Valadier was, by inclination, an architect rather than a goldsmith. On the death of this father he inherited both the workshop in the via del Babuino and the title of 'Cavaliere', with which his father had been honoured by Pope Pius VI. During the French occupation of Rome in 1798 Valadier produced designs for both the Piazza del Popolo and the Pincio, while delegating the running of the struggling workshop to a series of managers, finally handing it over to his brother-in-law Spagna in 1817.
In the exhibition dedicated to the workshop's production ('Valadier', Exhibition Catalogue, London, 1991), a number of drawings were displayed which bear close relation to the present lot. In particular the plinth for the group of the Flagellation (no. 62, p. 119) shares the bianco e nero marble top above a floral garlanded frieze, while similar laurel trails adorn the plinth of Luigi Valadier's designs for the Saints of the Monreale altarpiece (no. 45, pp. 79-81).
Similar patera-headed garlands appear on the plinth for a Renaissance equestrian bronze, now in the Louvre, illustrated in P. Verlet, Les Bronzes Dorés Français du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 1987, p. 135, fig. 172.
These plinths are also close in character to the oeuvre of Giacomo Rafaelli (1743-1836), the celebrated Roman mosaicist and Valadier's rival, whose Triumphal Arch clock, presented by Pope Pius VII to Napolon Bonaparte in 1804, shares loosely related swagged garlands (A. Gonzalez-Palacios et al., The Art of Mosaics, Selections from The Gilbert Collection, Los Angeles, 1982, rev. ed., no. 29, pp. 116-117).