Designed in the Louis XV 'pittoresque' style popularised by Juste-Aurèle Meissonier and Nicolas Pineau, these wall-lights relate to the oeuvre of the sculpteur, fondeur et ciseleur du roi Jacques Caffiéri (1678-1755). In the Inventory drawn up following his death in 1755, no.43 is described as un autre model double de bras de cheminée ancien à perroquets à deux branches, and this model was already listed in an earlier inventory of his stock in 1747.
An identical pair, formerly in the collection of Vicomte C. Berthier and marked with the C couronné poinçon tax mark, indicating this model was already in production between March 1745 and February 1749, was sold at Sotheby's New York, 8-9 November 1985, lot 269 ($26,400). A similar pair was exhibited at the International Art Treasures Exhibition, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1962, pl. 240, no. 437.
Two related pairs of parrot wall-lights, one with two and one with three branches, were supplied to Madame Infante, Louise-Elizabeth of France, duchesse de Parma for the Palazzo di Colorno. Discussed in A. González-Palacios, Gli Arredi Francesi, Milan, 1995, no. 52, p.243, the Colorno wall-lights are stamped with the C couronné poinçon and were recorded in the R.le Guadaroba in the 1769 Inventory. All of the Colorno wall-lights were almost certainly amongst the thirty-four wagons of furnishings and fineries brought back to Colorno from the duchesse's second trip to Paris between September 1752 and September 1753.
Whilst Madame Infante is known to have purchased much directly from the marchand-mercier Lazare Duvaux, as well as from the ciseleur, doreur sur métaux du Roy Antoine Lelièvre, it was Caffiéri who was most extensively patronised on this commision. As Peter Hughes has argued in The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Furniture III, London, 1996, no.266, pp.1310-1315, however, some of the gilt-bronze may actually originally have been commissioned by Louis XV for his own use a few years before and given by him to his eldest daughter; this hypothesis is based particularly upon the ormolu chandelier, also from Colorno, now in the Wallace, which is signed and dated CAFFIERI A PARIS 1751 and was, therefore, commissioned before their arrival in Paris as well as by the fact that the Colorno wall-lights are stamped with the 'C' Couronné poinçon, so should date from between 1745 and 1749.