This finely-chased porphyry brûle-parfum exemplifies the goût for precious objets montés favoured by late 18th century connoisseurs such as the Duc d'Aumont (1709-1782), who commissioned a related ormolu-enriched jasper tazza dated circa 1774-5 from the celebrated bronzier Pierre Gouthière (maître in 1758), subsequently acquired for Marie-Antoinette's boudoir (now in the Wallace Collection, London and ill. P. Hughes, The Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Furniture, III, London, 1996, pp.1340-5 (F292)).
The present brûle-parfum further relates to two other examples in the Wallace Collection which have either been attributed to Gouthière or to Pierre-Philippe Thomire (maître in 1772) the latter having first trained under Gouthière): the pair of red and yellow breccia tripod vases c.1785-6 most probably executed by Thomire (ill. Ibid, pp.1404-7 (F342-3)) and a pair of ormolu-mounted lapis lazuli candelabra, featuring related rams' heads and concave-sided tripod bases with Bacchus masks set within rounded recesses, which H. Ottomeyer and P. Pröschel have attributed to Gouthière.
The latter recessed Bacchus masks - like the Mercury masks with tied tresses set within concave roundels - are elements characteristic of Gouthière's oeuvre. Such can be found on a 'vase-girandole' c. 1780 which has also been attributed to Gouthière and is now in the Petit Trianon, Versailles (ill. in H. Ottomeyer & P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, vol. I, p.261, fig. 4.8.4) as well as on mounts executed by Gouthière c. 1780 which adorn the side frieze of the celebrated bleu turquin console table executed after designs by François-Joseph Bélanger and Jean-François Thérèse Chalgrin, now in the Frick Collection, New York (ill. The Frick Collection, an illustrated catalogue, VI, Furniture and Gilt Bronzes, New York, 1992, pp.105-23).