The original models for the present lot, which are probably dateable to 1768, have been the subject of dispute since 1823. While Charles Antoine Bridan is now accepted as author of the models, they were, for a time, thought to be by the hand of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. In Gaborit's monograph on Pigalle (loc. cit) he explains that the confusion arose in 1823 when the founder Pierre-Philippe Thomire made bronze reproductions of the two terracotta figures in the Musée municipal de Chartres and signed them 'Pigalle 1768'.
Bridan was originally commissioned to make a unique group for the cardinal of Luynes (Lami, loc. cit.) but possibly due to the popularity of the model he went on to produce another five marble versions. Interestingly, at least one exact pair and a variant pair of bronzes of these models have appeared on the art market (both Christie's London, 25 June 1980, lot 148 and 6 December 1988, lot 197 respectively) bearing the signature of Italian founder Francesco Righetti and dated 1786 - one year after the death of Bridan.