The prototype of the lot offered here is the life-size marble figure of Antinous that is housed in the Capitoline Museum, Rome. Generally accepted as being a product of the Hadrianic court and itself a copy of a figure of Hermes of the early 4th century BC, it was first documented in 1733 in Cardinal Albani's collection.
In 1787-8 the Capitoline Antinous was ceded to the French under the Treaty of Tolentino, which saw Napoleon removing masterpieces of art from Italian collections and relocating them to France. Following its triumphal arrival in Paris in July 1789 it was displayed in the Museé Central des Arts until October 1815, when it was restituted to Rome.
In the time following its discovery, the statue was much copied both in Italy and in Rome. Both Zoffoli and Righetti produced faithful bronze reductions for Grand Tourists. Other artists in the late 18th and 19th centuries onwards, such as Domenico Brucciani, a leading Victorian supplier of plaster reproductions, offered a wide range of casts, busts and statuettes of this figure (Haskel and Penny, loc. cit.), with the plaster cast offered here could conceivably being one such cast.