This large scale figure can be attributed to the Danish-born sculptor/modeler Giovanni Domenico Gianelli of Cock Lane, West Smithfield, based on the similar modeling and decoration to pairs of Regency polychrome-decorated and parcel-gilt plaster figures of similar size, formerly in the collection of David Style, Esq., at Wateringbury Place in Kent (sold Christie's house sale, 31 May-2 June 1978, lots 200-204; and one pair subsequently sold anonymously, Christie's, London, 23 November 2006, lot 93). At least one pair bears the maker's inscription 'Publish As The act Directed August 25 1807, by J.D. Giannelli No 3 Cock Lane Snow Hill'. Each figure holds a handkerchief in one hand and storm shade in the other (four of which were original when in the collection of David Style), and their robes are gathered in a similar way to those of this figure.
Gianelli studied at the Copenhagen Academy, winning gold and silver medals in 1797 and 1799, after which he departed for London in 1801 where he exhibited wax sculptures at the Royal Academy from 1809-1820. His 'bronzed' busts of British heroes appear on a bookcase at the Victoria & Albert Museum (D. Fitz-Gerald, 'A Sheraton designed bookcase and the Gianellis', Victoria & Albert Museum Bulletin, January 1968). His plaster figures often served as candelabrum stands, such as a pair of Gianelli's gilded plaster figures of reclining maidens, emblematic of study, bearing his 1809 patent (J. Bourne, Lighting in the Domestic Interior, London, 1991, fig. 545; sold Christie's, London, 19 February 2003, lot 459).
The fascination for the far East and specifically the popularity of Chinese 'nodding head' figures, which were imported by the East India Companies and served as ornaments for mantelpieces and general decoration, was increased circa 1800 by the dissemination of the Chinese style evident in the redecoration of Carlton House, London and Brighton Pavilion for George, Prince of Wales, later George IV.