The present pair of figures are based on engravings of Statues published by the celebrated sculptor, Mathurin Moreau (d.1912). As their trade catalogues reveal, Moreau's oeuvre was extensively reproduced by the Val d'Osne foundry during the latter quarter of the 19th century. Established in 1835 by André, Val d'Osne was subsequently renamed Houille et Cie in 1867 when taken over by Barbezat. By 1870, however, it was known as the Socité Anonyme des Hautes Fourneaux & Fonderies du Val d'Osne, exhibiting its wares in a Paris showroom at Boulevard Voltaire.
Another pair of these torchères sold Christie's New York, 26 October 2004, lot 293 ($19,120). A further identical pair with polychrome decoration, sold Christie's London, 12 December 1996, lot 146 (£57,500).