Modeled by the prolific and versatile French sculptor and designer Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (1824-1887), the figural supports on this spectacular pair of jardinières-- that of four putti with interlocking arms-- were first displayed on a massive pair of porcelain vases at the 1862 Paris Exposition Universelle (see The Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue of the International Exhibition 1862, p. 170). The jardinière's other components were also well known: the triple overlapping medallions by Carrier-Belleuse were displayed at that same exhibition in cast-iron by the Coalbrookdale Company; and the ram's head handles and fruit garlands can be found on a majolica 'flower vase' at the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851. One of Carrier-Belleuse's major goals throughout his career was the 'reconciliation between sculptural ornament and utilitarian form'. To this aim, he explored infinite variations of figures carrying or supporting vases, the present model being one of the most celebrated and enduring. Nearly 50 after its conception it was still being displayed prominently in the Minton showroom.
The stands each bear the number '1807' which appears in the 1884 Minton shape book as a 'Jardiniere tripod', and are thus appropriately matched here.