The present pair of caryatids were part of a bronze, lacquered brass and steel fireplace known as the 'Boy' stove, designed by Stevens for Hoole & Co., Sheffield and exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851. The original plaster for one of the figures, and design drawings for the stove, are in the Victoria and Albert Museum (inv. no. 4029-1853). Alfred Stevens, active as a sculptor, designer, and painter, rejected traditional distinctions between fine art and design. As chief designer for Hoole & Co., he produced award-winning designs for metalwork, maiolica, terracotta ornaments and chimney-pieces. Some of his most famous works were decorations for the dining-room at Dorchester House, London, and the monument to the Duke of Wellington for St Paul's Cathedral, London.