Humphrey Hopper exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1799 and 1834 and in 1803 won a Gold Medal for his group of 'The Death of Meleager'. He executed a commission for the House of Commons in 1814 for a monument to General Hay, in Saint Paul's Cathedral. In addition to this large national monument, Hopper's main body of work consisted of numerous busts, statues and other groups in marble, as well as a number of decorative objects in terracotta and plaster, designed for use as supports for candelabra, lamps and clocks.
The present torchre figures are of the same design as two of a set of four Classical Figures sold from the Estate of the 2nd Viscount Camrose (Christie's, Hackwood Park, 20 April 1998, lot 159, 46,000). It is possible that they correspond to four plaster statues probably representing the Muses, made for the Ballroom of the County Hall in Lewes in 1812.