Exceptional Matte and Burnished Gilt Bronze and Red Griotte Italian Marble Mantel Clock, late Louis XVI period
Call +33 1 45 61 44 55
Design Attributed to Sculptor Louis-Simon Boizot (1743-1809)
Case Attributed to François Rémond
Made Under the Supervision of Daguerre & Lignereux
Exceptional Matte and Burnished Gilt Bronze and Red Griotte Italian Marble Mantel Clock
Model with Seated Female Figures
Paris, late Louis XVI period, circa 1790
Height 62.2 cm; width 60.5cm; depth 19 cm
- Collection of Nancy and Frank Richardson, New York (Henri Samuel, interior designer).
- Sold Sotheby’s, Monaco, June 17, 1988, lot 686.
- Christian Baulez, “Les bronziers Gouthière, Thomire et Rémond”, in Louis-Simon Boizot (1743-1809), Sculpteur du roi et directeur de l’atelier de sculpture à la Manufacture de Sèvres, Musée Lambinet, Versailles, 2001-2002, p. 290 (illustration).
- Emily Evans Eerdmans, Henri Samuel, Master of the French Interior, Editions Rizzoli, New York, 2018, p. 178 (illustration).
The enamel dial, signed “Manière à Paris”, indicates the Roman numeral hours and the Arabic numeral fifteen-minute intervals. It is housed in an architectural case with an arched cornice that is adorned with stylized friezes. The clock is surmounted by a putto seated among clouds. The façade and the sides are decorated with reserves embellished with thunderbolts that are finely chased in high relief. The case is placed on a gilt bronze fringed drapery, which in turn rests upon the shoulders of two magnificent classically draped female figures in patinated bronze. They are sitting on a terrace adorned with a frieze depicting putti musicians playing among clouds and an acanthus leaf frieze. The terrace is supported by a quadrangular Italian red griotte marble base featuring a frieze of alternating stylized palmettes and flowers. The clock is supported on four chased gilt bronze feet.
The present clock is a rare example of the collaboration of several important figures in the Parisian decorative arts of the late 18th century. The model derives from a type of clock featuring standing women and columns with capitals, known as “le grand fronton”. It was created in the early 1790s by the chaser-gilder François Rémond (circa 1747-1812) on the request of the marchands-merciers Dominique Daguerre and Martin-Eloi Lignereux, who were partners. The model was so successful that several years later they decided to produce a variation, probably asking the king’s sculptor Louis-Simon Boizot to depict the female figures in a seated position. The new version was an artistic masterpiece with a perfectly balanced design; the highest quality materials - bronze, marble, and enamel – were used. However, by the time the model was produced, such extraordinary pieces could no longer be easily sold. Therefore, though we do not know the exact number of clocks produced, today only one other similar clock is known to be extant. Identical, to the present clock, it has a white Carrara marble base, and was formerly in the collection of Count Henri de Beaumont (1923-2005), standing in the living room of his home in Rome (La Pendulerie Gallery Archives, Paris).
François Rémond (circa 1747-1812)
Along with Pierre Gouthière, he was one of the most important Parisian chaser-gilders of the last third of the 18th century. He began his apprenticeship in 1763 and became a master chaser-gilder in 1774. His great talent quickly won him a wealthy clientele, including certain members of the Court. Through the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, François Rémond was involved in furnishing the homes of most of the important collectors of the late 18th century, supplying them with exceptional clock cases, firedogs, and candelabra. These elegant and innovative pieces greatly contributed to his fame.
Charles-Guillaume Hautemanière, dit Manière (d. in Paris in 1834)
One of the most important Parisian clockmakers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, he became a Master on May 1, 1778, and opened a workshop in the rue du Four-Saint-Honoré. He immediately became famous among connoisseurs of fine horology. Throughout his career, Manière sourced his clock cases from the best Parisian bronze casters and chasers, including Pierre-Philippe Thomire, François Rémond, Edmé Roy and Claude Galle. Marchands-merciers such as Dominique Daguerre and Martin-Eloi Lignereux called upon him to make clocks for the most influential collectors of the time, including the Prince de Salm, the banker Perregaux and the financier Micault de Courbeton, all three of whom were collectors of fine and rare horological pieces. Today, his clocks are found in the most important international private and public collections, including the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, the Musée national du château de Fontainebleau, the Quirinal Palace in Rome, the Nissim de Camondo Museum in Paris and the Musée national du château de Versailles et des Trianons.
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