William Waldorf Astor spared no expense in constructing his 1895 London residence. He hired John Loughborough Pearson as the architect who in turn brought on William Silver Firth to design many of the artistic elements of the house. Firth’s most whimsical creations are the bronze lamp standards that flank the balustraded entrance steps.
For the lamps, Firth went with the theme of modern technology. The cupids represent the marvels of electric illumination, telegraphy and telephony providing visitors to the house a small taste of the wonders that will behold them when they enter. The cupids on the base of the lamps are playing with a telephone and an electric lighting set and the ones on the front are holding an old-fashioned telephone receiver and a globe.