These magnificent table decorations were made after the statuettes created by Nicolas Cousinet in 1757 for the Duke of Aveiro. The unfortunate Duke was accused of involvement in a conspiracy against King José I and was executed together with part of his family in 1759. All his goods were confiscated and the figurines became part of the Portugese Royal collections.
Cf. Leonor d'Orey, The silver service of the Portuguese crown, Portugal, 1991, pp. 58-67, illustrated.