Carton pierre, similarly to papier mâché, was developed in the eighteenth century to imitate wood and stone. Various compositions of paper pulp were cast in oiled box-wood molds and lightly stove-dried (baked). Manufacturers’ recipes were jealously guarded, but analyses prove that the pulp was frequently mixed with flour, chalk, sawdust, sand and plaster and bound with wax, resin, animal glues or gum arabic. Papier mâché was often made from paper stripped from billboards while carton pierre derived from waste cardboard, and its ‘composition’ material comprised a greater ratio of plaster to paper. Two pairs of girandoles of the same design were sold Sotheby’s, Charlottesville, The Collection of Patricia Kluge, 8-9 June 2010, lots 161 and 162. A related pair of carton pierre mirrors from the collection of the Earl of Rendlesham sold Sotheby’s, New York, 16 October 2008, lot 103. The design of young boys holding birds, cages and baskets of the present lot and the abovementioned comparable girandoles almost certainly derive from contemporaneous French engravings.