Standing on either side of a table or cabinet with matching ebony, tortoiseshell, pewter, and brass decoration, these stands, known as gueridons or torchères, would have supported candelabra. Many elements of the design, such as the gilt bronze ram's heads and masks, appear in both the drawings and engravings of the celebrated ébéniste André-Charles Boulle, who worked in the late 1600s in Paris.
The 1777 sales catalogue of the French politician and financier Louis-Randon de Boisset describes stands of exactly the same height and unusual form. De Boisset's sale was one of the largest held in Paris in the 1700s. His collection, which included at least 230 paintings and fifty pieces of furniture by Boulle, sold for a record sum of 1,320,149 livres.