These torcheres formed art of a collection of furniture belonging to Halsted B. Vander Poel, which descended from his grandfather, C.K.G. Billings. A wealthy industrialist and noted horseman from Chicago, Billings retired as President of the Peoples Gas, Light and Coke Company (later Union Carbide) in 1901 at the age of 40, and moved to New York City. While his principal residence was at Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street, he purchased land in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan and built the magnificent Louis XV style mansion, Tryon Hall. It was sold to John D. Rockefeller in 1917, but was later destroyed by fire in 1925. Remnants of the estate can still be seen in the park today, which is the site of the Cloisters, an annex of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.