Wall Cartel Clock "aux espagnolettes", Louis XVI period

Frédéric Duval

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Frédéric Duval, horloger agrégé à la corporation en 1777
Case Attributed to Robert Osmond (1711-1789), reçu maître fondeur en janvier 1746
Rare Finely Chased Gilt Bronze Neoclassical Wall Cartel Clock
Paris, early Louis XVI period, circa 1775-1780
Height 67 cm; width 30 cm; depth 14.5 cm

The enamel dial, signed Frédéric Duval à Paris, indicates the hours in Roman numerals and the minutes in Arabic numerals; it is set in a finely chased, waisted gilt bronze case, whose remarkable quality allows its attribution to the bronzier Robert Osmond, one of the finest Parisian bronze casters of the time. The composition is punctuated by rosettes and interlacing motifs; at the summit an antique urn with pinecone finial is decorated with hanging laurel swags. The lower portion, made up of large acanthus leaves, terminates in an oak-leaf bouquet. The dial is framed by scrolling and piaster motifs, which terminating in female busts of the type called espagnolettes.

This elegant cartel is of a type much appreciated by Parisian connoisseurs in the early part of Louis XVI’s reign. Among the rare comparable examples known, one with a dial signed Courvoisier is illustrated in P. Heuer-Klaus Maurice, European Pendulum Clocks, 1988, p. 40, fig. 54; a second, with a dial signed Gille l’aîné, is illustrated in G. and A. Wannenes, Les plus belles pendules françaises, de Louis XIV à l’Empire, Florence, 2013, p. 182; a third, by Charles Leroy, is illustrated in Henriot, Bronzes et bois sculptés des collections privées, planche 6. One last such cartel with a dial signed Javelot, is in the collections of the Musée des Arts décoratifs à Paris (see Bulletin de l’association nationale des collectionneurs et amateurs d’horlogerie ancienne, n° 61, summer 1991, p. 34, fig. 16).

Frédéric Duval à Paris
Frédéric Duval trained in the workshop of François Béliard, then worked as an ouvrier libre for approximately a decade. Mentioned successively in the rue Mazarine in 1778 and the rue Jacob in 1781, he favoured cases made by the great bronziers of the day, including Saint-Germain, Morlay, Poisson, and Osmond. He appears to have ceased his activity toward the mid 1780’s. The Duke de Choiseul, a connoisseur of fine horology, was probably one of his most important clients.

Object Name: Wall Cartel Clock "aux espagnolettes", Louis XVI period
Artist name: Frédéric Duval
Reference: C002
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