This caryatid figure is very similar to a project carried out by Carpeaux for the Hotel de Ville of the town of Valenciennes. Around 1868, he was commissioned by the city to redesign the entire facade. Carpeaux proposed a large balcony supported by seven large caryatid figures. The present wax model could well be one of the original figures which Carpeaux presented to the Board. A plaster model of the Hotel de Ville, as well as numerous designs by Carpeaux, are now in the Musée des Beaux Arts in Valenciennes.
Carpeaux (d.1875) was born in Valenciennes and worked in Paris before being admitted to the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1844. Studying under Rude he was influenced by his naturalistic approach until 1850 when his style became strictly classical, the wax in this lot being an example of that later style.