These ewers are based on an original model by John Flaxman Sr., father of the celebrated artist. The model, in plaster, was supplied to Josiah Wedgwood in March 1775 and is still in the Wedgwood Museum, Barlaston (D. Bindman, ed., John Flaxman, 1979, p. 50, nos. 19a and 19b). Wedgwood versions in basalt and jasperware could also be found in England after 1775. Wedgwood produced various versions but examples in metal are extremely rare. Besides the pair of bronze and ormolu ewers in the Musée Nissim de Camondo, Paris, a later pair of French-plated and ormolu ewers was sold Christie's, New York, 23 October 2003, lot 642.
Flaxman's model was based on Sigisbert François Michel's (1728-1811) original ewers. In 1774, Michel exhibited a pair of plaster ewers surmounted by a triton and a satyr in the Académie de Saint-Luc, Paris. This prototype was later the basis for a number of subsequent ewers in malachite (a pair of which can be seen in the Wallace Collection, London), biscuit porcelain examples produced by Sèvres (with a pair in the Musée d'Orléans) and, of course, bronze (the pair in the Musée de Nissim Camondo).