Rare hard stones were highly desirable at the end of the 18th century with some renowned collectors, including Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI and the famous Duke of Aumont (1709-1782). The auction of the latter's collection on 12 December 1782 presented a very large number of these vases, mostly mounted with gilt bronzes. During that time, stones were sought from Italy or farther and certain were then cut and polished in the duke’s workshop, constructed within the Menus Plaisir du Roi townhouse on the Faubourg Poissonnière Boulevard. The artefacts were created from drawings by ornamentists such as the architect-decorator François-Joseph Belanger. The cutting was entrusted to sculptors such as Augustin Bocciard from Genoa (1760-90) or Pierre-Jean-Baptiste Delaplanche from France. And Pierre Gouthière provided bronze mountings for some.
The King opened at Remiremont in the Lorraine region a « Manufacture privilégiée du Roi » specializing in the cutting and carving of hard stones that were then sold in Paris. As noted by Mr. Valmont-Bomare, in Dictionnaire Raisonné Universel D'Histoire Naturelle (natural history dictionary), Paris, 1791: « We have just opened in Paris the store or depository for rock structures, composed of granite, granite-like marble, jasper, serpentine & porphyry, executed at the King's Manufacture Privileged in Remiremont, Lorraine. These works will enable the public to judge the beauty of the minerals; we have chosen the purest forms, drawn based on Antiquity; some have been adapted with gilt bronze fittings, simple, but of good taste, and of the greatest finish for execution. (...) We find in this depository, vases of all shapes, columns, gained supports, pedestals for busts. »