The three heads are related to heads in the large painting of Regulus returning to Carthage by Lépicié exhibited at the Salon of 1779 and now at Carcassonne (J. Locquin, La Peinture d'Histoire en France de 1747 à 1785, Paris, 1978, fig. 150). The head at the top, inspired by that of the Farnese Hercules, is for the one in the right middle ground of the picture and the head of the boy is to the left of Regulus, half hidden by the elbow of the turbanned man. The third head is probably for one just above that of the boy. The picture, exhibited as no. 26 at the Salon, was described in the catalogue as being 'pour le roi'.
We are grateful to Pierre Etienne for confirming the attribution to Lépicié and for pointing out the connection with the picture in Carcassonne.