Cordier conceived his Vénus Africaine to be a pair with his bust of Saïd Abdallah, which he had created two years previously, and first presented the two together at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert both much admired them. Secretly they planned to buy the busts for each other as Christmas presents. An embarassing scene was averted, Cordier recalls, by a bright 'dame du Palais' who tipped off the Prince. The casts bought by the Queen are now at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. A version of the African Venus, with a rich brown patina, is in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (inv. no. 54.2665). Another version, with silvered patina on the necklace and drapery, similar to the present bust, sold at Sotheby's Paris, 22 October 2015, lot 121, for €75,000.