In the 1769 inventory after the death of Jean de Boullongne, financier and contrôleur général des finances to Louis XV, a succinct entry describes:
'un petit groupe de deux figures chinoises en cuivre peint sur pied doré d'or moulu'.
The description is too vague to confirm that the present lot is that which belonged to Jean de Boullongne, however the extreme rarity of this type of object lends support to the comparison. A pair of candelabra of Italian royal descent, (sold Parke-Bernet, New York, 22 May 1959, lot 666) is decorated with magots with identical hats to that found on the present group. Another pair of two-light candelabra with a black lacquer magot also has the same hat (sold Paris, Galerie Charpentier, 12 June 1956, lot 26 bis).