Carrier-Belleuse, one of the most prolific sculptors of the 19th century, designed these gas-jet torchères. This pair, or one similar to it, was chosen to represent French design at the International Exposition of 1862 in London. Forty years later, the pair was purchased from a Paris dealer for the new home of Louis W. Hill (1872-1948), a prominent businessman and the son of Saint Paul railroad magnate James J. Hill. Louis Hill's Georgian Revival house at 260 Summit Avenue was built in 1903. Hill furnished the home as lavishly as his parents' famous mansion next door which, at the time of its completion, was the most expensive house ever built in Minnesota. These elegant torchères welcomed guests to the foyer until being moved into a ballroom added to the house in 1912. They remained in the family until a daughter donated them to the Institute in 1974.