The present figures are an adaptation of Pigalle's original marbles of infants of 1749 and 1784 that were both transformed into bronze in 1784. Originally, the earlier figure carrying a birdcage was carved as a commission for Jean Paris de Montmartel but later a second figure of a young girl with bird and an apple was carved as a pendant. She is depicted offering an apple to the boy in exchange for the bird he once owned. Several aftercasts in this form were produced during Pigalle's life and shortly after his death in 1785, with further casts made by Pierre Philippe Thomire in 1823, and between 1848 and 1853. The present figures are a revision of these earlier models; they vary in size and in posture; the young girl instead feeds the bird with food from a seashell while the young boy begrudgingly looks over to her.
A virtually identical pair of this model set on the same ormolu bases can be seen in H. R. Weihrauch, Europäische Bronzestatuetten, 15.-18. Jarhundert, Berlin, 1967, p. 451.