By the time this piece was modelled in the 18th century, sugar had become a common household good among all levels of European society due to the establishment of plantations in the Carribean. It was sold in solid cones wrapped in paper, such as the one in this model, and required a pair of sugar 'nippers' to pull off fragments for use.
For the engraving upon which this figure is based and an example of this model in the collection of the Hermitage, see Butler, op. cit., pl. VIII and pl. 210. Cf. L. and Y. Adams, op. cit., p. 44.