The rights to this model may originally have belonged to the marchand-mercier Simon-Philippe Poirier who delivered to Madame du Barry in 1770 'une paire de girandoles trois branches en bronze doré d'or moulu ornés de figures de porcelaine de France 624 livres'. Another pair - described as 'trois branches figures d'enfant en bronze couleur antique avec pied feuille d'ornement six cent livres' are listed in the collection of President de Nicolay at the end of the 18th Century.
This model found particular favour amongst English collectors in both the late 18th and early 19th Century. A number of the examples that survive in English country house collections were most probably sold by the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, Poirier's successor, who came to London in 1787 at the invitation of the Prince Regent. Slightly later remoulages or after-casts of the 18th Century model, as here, which display a slightly different chasing and heaviness of cast, were produced for Regency collectors.
This model exists in two basic patterns, of which the present pair is the better-known model. The other model features two putto with hands in identical but opposed positions. Examples of these include a pair from the Josse collection, sold Galerie Georges Petit, Paris 28-29 May 1894, lot 141 and two pairs from the collection of M. Hubert de Givenchy, sold at Christie's Monaco, 4 December 1993, lot 5 and 6.
A third version, with the putti playing flutes, in the Residenz, Munich, formed part of the Zweibrücken or Pfalz inheritance acquired by the Bavarian Wittelsbachs after 1799, illustrated in H. Ottomeyer, P. Pröschel et al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, Vol. II, p. 156, fig 3.2.1, where an attribution to Philippe Caffiéri is suggested (fig. 3.2.2).