The 'C couronné poinçon' was a tax mark used in France between March 1745 and February 1749 on any alloy containing copper.
These whorled and serpentined chenets are conceived in the picturesque Chinese manner, with a gardener and his companion listening to parrots, while perched on balustrades beneath giant shrubs. The pattern is thought to have been invented for Madame de Pompadour, and a pair from her apartments at the château de Bellevue is now in the Louvre (see Dreyfus, Musée du Louvre: Les Objets d'Art du XVIII Siecle: Epoque Louis XV, Paris, n.d., fig.3). The signature of the goldsmith François-Thomas Germain (maître in 1748) is recorded on another pair of this model, which may also be connected with the 'model de garniture de grill representant un chinois et une chinoise' listed in the 1755 inventory of the celebrated bronzier Jacques Caffieri (d.1755) (see E. Molinier, Le Mobilier Francais du XVIIe et du XVIIIe Siècle, c. 1900, p.23.), while in 1756, the marchand-mercier Lazare Duvaux sold to Mme la Marquise de la Ferrière 'Un petit feu doré d'ormoulu composé de figures chinoises avec ses garnitures de pelles et pincettes, 120 l.' Other chenets of this model include a pair in the Wrightsman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (illustrated in F.J.B. Watson, The Wrightsman Collection II: Furniture, Gilt Bronze and Mounted Porcelain, New York, 1966, p. 375, cat. 192 A and B), and a single chenet, listed in the 1920's in the Park Lane collection of Sir Philip Sassoon, Bt., sold in these Rooms from the collection of the Marquess of Cholmondeley, Houghton, 8 December 1994, lot 64.