Important Gilt Bronze and White Marble Mantle Clock
Bronzes Attributed to François Rémond
Paris, Louis XVI period, circa 1785
The round enamel dial indicates the Roman numeral hours, fifteen-minute intervals, and date, as well as the days of the week and corresponding Zodiac signs, by means of two pierced gilt bronze hands and two blued steel hands. The case is made of finely chased gilt bronze and white marble. The movement is housed in a drum case with bead-decorated bezel. The clock is surmounted by two putti, one of whom is pouring wine into a goblet held by the other. They are seated among clouds adorned with leaves and musical instruments. On either side, two young women in antique draperies are seated on low stools; one is playing the triangle, the other is blowing into a trumpet. The stepped rectangular base is adorned with applied arabesque and scrolling motifs, female busts, and a fringed drapery with reclining lionesses. The clock is raised upon six chased and tapering feet.
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The remarkable design of the present clock and the exceptional quality of the chasing and gilding of its bronze mounts support the attribution of the bronze work to François Rémond, one of the most important Parisian chaser-gilders of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Only a few similar clocks are known. Among them, one example whose dial is signed “Thiery à Paris”, was illustrated in L. Montanes, Catalogo ilustrado del Museo de Relojes, Fundacion Andrés de Ribera, 1982, p. 152, fig. 276. A second similar clock is in the Paris Musée des Arts décoratifs (illustrated in Tardy, La pendule française, 2ème partie: Du Louis XVI à nos jours, Paris, 1975, p. 362). One further such clock, quite similar to the present example, may be seen at Sturehof Castle near Stockholm (illustrated in H. Groth, Châteaux en Suède, Intérieurs et mobilier néo-classiques 1770-1850, Paris, 1990, p. 63).
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.