This plaster caryatid, or Kore, copies the ancient Greek figure now in the British Museum, London, which was removed from the Erectheon, Greece between 1800 and 1803 by G.B. Lusieri acting on the instruction of Lord Elgin. This figure is one of six and stood second from the left on the front of the south porch (see fig. 1). The Erectheon was built in 420 B.C. on the site of the original temple of the Acropolis, and has two sections, one dedicated to the worship of Athena and the other to Poseidon. It is most famous for the south porch facade which features these magnificent caryatid supports.
At the end of the late 18th century and for the first half of the 19th century, London had a vast number of different plaster shops within the city. The majority of these shops did not produce original works but rather copied works by earlier and contemporary sculptors. In the early years of the 19th century, the fashion for the Egyptian and Greek had a strong influence on the decorative arts. Whilst many designers of their day were imitating the 'antique', the arrival of discovered treasures from abroad would certainly have had a favourable impact on the plaster business. The arrival of the Elgin marbles caused a considerable interest and it is probable, particularly as the sizes are very similar, that this is a direct cast from the caryatid in the British Museum.