The beautifully cast, bold laurel swags of these superb pedestals reflect the avant garde neo-classical style of the 1760's promoted by progressive designers such as Jean-François de Neufforge and Jean-Charles Delafosse, whose Nouvelle Iconologie Historique of 1768 featured a a wide variety of ornament featuring a similar bold use of swags. The drilled out cylindrical hole at the top of the pedestals presumably indicates they were originally designed to incorporate vases or candelabra which would have slotted into the recess, probably for use in the type of sculpture gallery which was so au courant with the connoisseur-collectors of the period.
The superb naturalistic casting of the laurel leaves, with delicate veining and life-like movement, points to the work of a major bronzier, and it is possible that they might be early examples of the work of Pierre Gouthière, the preeminent bronzier of the late 18th century. One of Gouthière's most celebrated clients was the duc d'Aumont, who was in charge of the Menus Plaisirs and was a passionate collector of hardstones. He employed Gouthière extensively to supply bronzes for hardstone objects, often designed by the architect François-Joseph Belanger. D'Aumount's famous sale of 1782 indicated which works were made by Gouthière and they included nine lots of ormolu-mounted marble columns. Although this pair does not appear, a pair of alabaster vases with ormolu handles by Gouthière in the form of laurel vines (lot 7) have a similar naturalistic quality. These vases were acquired by Louis XVI at the sale for the Musée du Louvre, and more recently sold from the collection of French and Company, Christie's, New York, 24 November 1998, lot 15 ($1.9 million exc. premium).