The use of Wedgwood plaques to embellish furniture was popular in France from the middle of the 18th century and was promoted by the marchand-merciers. These plaques were made out of a new ceramic material pioneered by Josiah Wedgwood in England: this was unglazed Jasperware which, with its matt texture, coloured ground and white design in relief, easily conjured up the image of antique cameos, in keeping with the character of antiquity and classical vocabulary. In the 19th century, when the style was revived, the practice continued in exactly the same way: both Wedgwood, who had agents in Paris, and Sèvres supplied plaques for the embellishment of originally conceived pieces as well as for copies after 18th century designs.
This 'work-table' or tricoteuse is a copy of the celebrated model by Adam Weisweiler, probably to the order of the marchand mercier Dominique Daguerre, who would have supplied the Wedgwood cameos and the gilt-bronze mounts. It later belonged to Empress Josephine and is now in the Wallace Collection, London.