The Property of the late Alfred E. Pearson, sold Sotheby’s London, 23rd May 1967, lot 94
Tajan, Paris, 25th October 1993, lot 152
Partridge Fine Arts, London
The figure of Cupid was first created at Sèvres at the begining of 1758, after a plaster model created in 1755 and a marble version exhibited at the Salon in 1757 by Etienne Maurice Falconet, director of the sculpture department at Sèvres (1757-1766). The first example was sold on the 30th December 1758 at a price of 144 livres to Madame de Pompadour.
At the beginning of 1761 Falconet created a figure of Psyche as a pendant to Cupid. The first pair was bought by Comte de Choiseul on the 24th July 1761 for 96 livres each.
The first base mentioned in the sale inventory was a pied d’estal de l’Amour lapis (a lapis pedestal for Cupid) sold for 120 livres to the dealer Poirer in the second semestre of 1760 (Arch.MNS, Vy3 fo 33v.)
At the begining of 1761 there is a sale record for a biscuit pedestal for Cupid sold for 24 livres and for a coloured one sold for 96 livres. In 1773 a beau bleu-ground one sold for 72 livres.
The inscription on the pedestal of this example is taken from a couplet by Voltaire composed for a Cupid in the gardens of Maisons.