These unusual wall-lights can confidently be attributed to the workshop of François Rémond. Thanks to his ledgers covering the period between 1779 and 1787, which survive at the Archives Nationales in Paris, this model can be first dated to 10 November 1785. In total, twenty-three pairs at 108 livres each were supplied to the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre between 1785 and 1787. They appeared indistinctively recorded as bras plaque or bras plateau, and a variant featured chains suspended from the gallery. Amongst the patrons purchasing this model was Bonnefoy-Duplan, head of the Queen's Garde-Meuble, who bought six pairs with bobèches riches et découpures ajustées de chaines, poires et oeufs, from Daguerre on November 22, 1785 for Marie-Antoinette's hameau.
Unlike fellow artisans like Claude-Jean Pitoin, who was born into a celebrated dynasty of craftsmen and pursued the family tradition, Rémond was the son of a voiturier, who placed him as an apprentice in the workshop of the little-known matre-doreur Pierre-Antoine Vial in 1763. In spite of this, Rémond became one of the most celebrated ciseleur-doreurs under Louis XVI, working for a distinguished clientele comprising, amongst others, the comte d'Artois, for whom he supplied many bronzes d'ameublement for his cabinet turc at Versailles, Marie-Antoinette, the duc de Penthièvre and the comte d'Adhémar.
The extent and diversity of his work for numerous ébénistes (Riesener, Roentgen and Frost), horlogers (Lépine, Festaux and Voisin), bronziers (Osmond, Saint-Germain, Floix and Gouthière) and marchands-merciers (Granchez, Julliot and Daguerre) was particularly outstanding. Such large-scale collaborative work was quite unusual and impressive for a single workshop, resulting in the frequent attribution of many of his pieces to other leading contemporary maîtres. However, thanks to the appearance of Rémond's ledgers on the Parisian art market in 1983, pieces which were originally thought to be by Gouthière, for instance, have now been re-identified with Rémond.
It is important to note that this model of wall-light was sold to several important clients prior to Rémond's first reference to wall-lights of this form: for four pairs, described as with deux lumières, dont les bobèches sont posées sur des plaques décorées de mirzas, de chaînes et de perles, dorées d'or moulu, à raison de 120 livres par paire, were commissioned by the intendant du Garde-Meuble Jean Hauré and delivered on 28 October 1784 by the fondeur Blondelet for Marie-Antoinette's petits appartements at Versailles. Moreover, a pair was also ordered at the same time by Madame de Ville d'Avray for her bedroom at the hôtel du Garde-Meuble, where she resided with her husband Thierry de Ville d'Avray, also intendant du Garde-Meuble. According to Verlet, however, these could have been supplied by Rémond through Daguerre, see P. Verlet, Les Bronzes Dor's Franais du XVIIIe Sicle, Paris, 1987. p. 90, no. 97.
Very little is known about Blondelet except that he worked with Rémond on several occasions, C. Baulez, “Le Luminaire de la Princesse Kinsky,” L'Estampille /L'Objet d'Art, May 1991, pp. 84-99. Thus whilst the authorship of this model remains unclear, it is certainly possible that Blondelet may be the one responsible for its creation, while Rémond, successfully producing and commercializing the model through Daguerre, gained the reputation for its ownership.
A pair of wall lights of this model was sold Christie's New York, 2 November 2000, lot 159. A pair identical to the present wall lights in the London collection of Mrs. Wrightsman was sold Sotheby's New York, 28 April 2010, lot 154 ($50,000).