Eleanor Coade's 'Artificial Stone Manufactory' was established at the King's Arms Stairs, Lambeth in 1769. The manufactory produced a wide range of architectural and garden ornaments, commemorative statues, decorative details and furnishings for interiors of the highest quality. Once exposed to extremely high temperatures in the kiln, the 'Artifical Stone’, or ceramic mixture of clay, terracotta, silicates, and glass was considered as durable as jasper or porphyry. Its great success was due to its tough and hard wearing properties, as well as the opportunities the material provided for fine-detailed ornamentation in fashionable designs. The firm engaged leading artists such as John Flaxman and Benjamin West to supply models predominantly in the Neoclassical style, and was, in turn, engaged by leading architects including Robert Adam, James Wyatt, William Chambers, John Nash and John Soane, as well as prestigious private patrons. Coade received a royal appointment to George III, producing the Gothic screen at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, and to the Prince of Wales, later George IV, for whom she worked at the first Royal Pavilion, Brighton and Carlton House, London.
The present roundel is listed in Coade's 1784 twenty-nine volume catalogue, A Descriptive Catalogue of Coade's Artificial Stone Manufactory, Section XXVII Pieces of Furniture and Various Ornaments, p. 15, no. 294, under the title 'A Head of Pope'.