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Époques: Restauration

  • Sèvres
    Sèvres Royal Manufactory
    Jean-Charles-Nicolas Brachard

    Rare Pair of Hard Paste Porcelain Lidded Ice Pails by the Royal Sèvres Manufactory

    Vases018-07_HD_WEB

    Design by Sculptor Jean-Charles-Nicolas Brachard

    Royal Sèvres Manufactory, Charles X period, dated 1825

    Marks: Blue Royal Sèvres Manufactory marks: two interlacing “Ls” with a fleur de lys and above the indication “Sèvres 25” for 1825. In addition, the indications “30 At 25 P”, “MC 23 Mai”, “22 Mi 25 P” and “MC 24 Mai 25” referring to dates of gilding and/or de painting.

    Height32 Diamètre29

    The vases, made of hard paste porcelain by the Royal Sèvres Manufactory, feature a particularly elegant neoclassical shape inspired by the krater vases of ancient Greece. The lids, with a button finial, may be taken off to reveal the interiors; one vase retains its inner liner. The necks, lower portions, and pedestals are adorned with Greek friezes and alternating stylized palmettes within reserves and C-scrolls with fleurs de lys, all against a blue ground imitating lapis-lazuli. The applied handles are in the form of scrolling reeds that are attached to the sides of vases by masks of bearded men coiffed with reeds – allegorical figures on an aquatic theme. The bellies are adorned with beautiful still lifes of fruits including peaches, currant berries, hazelnuts, strawberries, plums, grapes, walnuts, figs, chestnuts, raspberries, and pears. The still lifes appear to be suspended from vines attached behind the masks. A plain torus separates the lower portion of the vase and the round pedestal, which features convex molding. The vases are supported on square gilt bronze bases.

     

    Ice pails were indispensable table accessories used at all important summer meals during the first few decades of the 19th century. They were used to keep ice cream and sherbet cold. As concerns the present vases, their particularly successful design, known as “type B” in the Manufactory’s archives, was created by Jean-Charles Nicolas Brachard, a sculptor mentioned as working at the Royal or Imperial Sèvres Manufactory from 1782 to 1824. Today, several identical ice pails with various types of decoration, are in public collections in France. Among these, one example is in the Musée national du Château de Fontainebleau (Inv. F903C). A pair of vases adorned with medallions showing landscapes in perspective are in the Sèvres Musée national de Céramique (Inv. MNC25298/25299). One further ice pail with a white ground and no painted decoration is also in the Musée national de Céramique à Sèvres (Inv. MNC16191).

    Sèvres Royal Manufactory

    The Vincennes porcelain factory was created in 1740 under the patronage of Louis XV and the Marquise of Pompadour. It was created to rival with the Meissen porcelain factory, and became its principal European rival. In 1756 it was transferred to Sèvres, becoming the Royal Sèvres porcelain factory. Still active today, during the course of its existence it has had several periods of extraordinary creativity and has called on the finest French and European artisans. Kings and emperors considered it an exemplary showcase for French know-how. Most of the pieces created in the manufactory workshops were intended to be given as diplomatic gifts or to decorate the castles and royal palaces of the 18th and 19th centuries.



    Jean-Charles-Nicolas Brachard

    Was a sculptor who was active at the Royal Sèvres Manufactory from 1782 to 1824.



    In the same category
    Raingo
    Zacharie Raingo (active circa 1805-1830)

    Exceptional Amboyna Burl Veneer and Gilt Bronze Musical Rotunda Orrery Clock

    Pendule415-06_HD_WEB

    Paris, Restauration period, circa 1820

    Height74 Diamètre27

    The round white enamel dial indicates the Roman numeral hours, the Arabic numeral fifteen-minute intervals, and the seconds, by means of three hands. The movement is housed in a drum case; the bimetallic pendulum features a bob that is adorned by a male mask. The neoclassical case is in the form of a classical rotunda temple in gilt bronze and amboyna burl veneer, which is decorated with chasing and knurling. Four columns, standing on square bases decorated with fleur de lys friezes, are surmounted by finely fluted capitals with beadwork decoration. They are supported on a round base that is set on a plinth, which is adorned with a frieze of stylized palmettes, and rests upon a quadrangular base housing a twenty-five tooth comb and cylinder musical movement. A gilt bronze plaque signed “Raingo à Paris” bears the commands for adjusting the mechanism, as well as for winding the musical movement. Surmounting the columns is a circular platform whose entablature is decorated with flowers and mille-raie friezes; it is surmounted by the orrery. The latter, which shows the 365-day period of the Earth’s revolution around the sun, has a mechanism that may be manually disengaged for didactic purposes or for changing the date, by means of a lateral crank with a turned ivory handle. It indicates a zodiacal calendar with annual date, indicating the twelve months of the year, accompanied by their low relief applied zodiac signs, along a wide silvered metal band set in the circular platform. The gilt bronze Sun is placed in the center of the orrery; it is flanked by a silvered metal dial that indicates the age of the moon from 1 to 29 ½, as well as the moon phases. It supports the ivory and black lacquered Moon that revolves around the Earth, which features a map and is tilted. It is surmounted by a metal dial with double Roman numerals from I to XII, indicating the time in various parts of the world. The clock has a glass dome.

    This exceptional orrery clock may be considered the ultimate illustration of the technical and esthetic developments in the field of clocks with complications, the first models of which were made during the early part of the 18th century by the Englishman John Rowley for the Count of Orrery (see the exhibition catalogue Sphères, L’art des mécaniques célestes, Paris, 2002, p. 238-239). In the early 19th century, several famous French clockmakers produced examples of these exceptional pieces, including Antide Janvier, who created an example that is now in the Musée du Temps in Besançon (illustrated in M. Hayard, Antide Janvier 1751-1835, Horloger des étoiles, 1995, p. 209). A second piece is pictured in G. and A. Wannenes, Les plus belles pendules françaises, De Louis XIV à l’Empire, Editions Polistampa, Florence, 2013, p. 378-379. It should be noted that Leroy et Fils took part in the creation of a clock that is illustrated in P. Heuer and K. Maurice, European Pendulum Clocks, Decorative Instruments of Measuring Time, Munich, 1988, p. 70, fig. 122.

    Nevertheless, the most elaborate models, which were the most sought-after by European collectors due to their elegant cases and remarkable mechanisms, were those made by the clockmaker Zacharie-Joseph Raingo during the early decades of the 19th century. In 1810, Raingo registered a patent with an attached drawing for a gilt bronze example that appears to be the one commissioned by Paul Arconati, Baron of Gaesbeek. Gaesbeek intended to give it to the Sultan of Turkey, but this never happenethatd and the clock remained in the Gaesbeek family until it was acquired by the Musée du Cinquantenaire in Brussels (illustrated in A-M. Berryer and L. Dresse de Lébioles, La mesure du temps à travers les âges aux Musées royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Bruxelles, 1974, p. 92). There are only a few clocks made by Raingo that are comparable to the present piece. Most feature rotundas with columns with mahogany or burl veneer. One is illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la pendule française du Moyen Age au XXe siècle, Paris, 1997, p. 376. A second clock, made of chased gilt bronze, is in the Royal Spanish Collection (illustrated in J. Ramon Colon de Carvajal, Catalogo de Relojes del Patrimonio nacional, Madrid, 1987, p. 144, catalogue n° 122). Three models are shown in Tardy, La pendule française, 2ème partie: Du Louis XVI à nos jours, Paris, 1975, p. 418. One further clock, nearly identical to the present one, is in the Royal British Collection (see C. Jagger, Royal Clocks, The British Monarchy & its Timekeepers 1300-1900, London, 1983, p. 168, fig. 229).

    A similar clock was described at length when it appeared in the sale of the collection of Monsieur Maneffe of Brussels: “Scientific clock. Invented and made by M. Raingo, a clockmaker from Mons. Approved by the members of the Institut and the Conservatoire, and favorably mentioned by the French Ministry of the Interior. To this clock is adjoined a sphere which, by means of its rotation, demonstrates cosmological and geographical phenomena. It takes a new and pleasant form, measuring 13 inches in diameter and 25 in height. The effects are obtained by simple means and by an that is as perfect in its genre as could be wished. It is useful for demonstrating the truth of the system of Copernicus, and the planets’ revolutions, which leave no doubt regarding natural phenomena, which are shown with the greatest precision. 1. It illustrates the annual and daily movement of the Earth around the Sun, with the perfect inclination of the ecliptic. 2. As it passes along the ecliptic, the Earth traces an ellipse, moving closer or further away from the sun, depending on the season; it indicates, as exactly as possible, the constant natural movements. 3. The various movements of the Earth illustrate the passage of time, due to the same causes as in Nature, and may be used for various observations concerning the globe. 4. The circles move around the globe in all directions, demonstrating the lengthening and shortening of the days according to the seasons, for all countries in the world. 5. Movable pointers designate the hours of sunrise and sunset each day, for all countries; they show the sun’s elevation, its altitude, and its movements. These indicators also show the four seasons during the equinoxes and solstices. 6. A mobile dial above the Earth indicates, as desired, the time in any country, as well as the nocturnal and diurnal hours. 7. The daily and annual movements of the Moon around the Earth, as well as the moon phases. 8. The ecliptic path of the moon showing its apogee, perigee, and the variety of lunar days, through gradual motion. 9. An indicator showing the times of moon rise and moon set in all the countries of the world. 10. The progression of lunar days is indicated by the rotation of the moon. 11. As it moves along the ecliptic, the sphere shows the days of each month, with their names, and the degrees and signs of the zodiac. 12. The progression of ordinary and leap years indicates the moment when the mechanism must be rewound, which occurs only every four years. The sphere may be disengaged at will from the clock for demonstration purposes, by means of a special mechanism; it may be accelerated as desired. The clock is completed by a mechanical musical movement that plays flute music on the hour and at will. This invention required seven years of work on the part of its creator, in order to obtain the absolute perfection he desired”.

    Zacharie Raingo (active circa 1805 - 1830)

    Little is known of the life of Zacharie Raingo, who was active from circa 1805 to circa 1830. Born in Mons, Belgium, he worked in Tournai in 1806, in Gand around 1810. Soon afterward he went to Paris, where he was named Horloger-Mécanicien de SAS le duc de Chartres, and in 1824 Horloger-Mécanicien de la Couronne. In just a few years, Raingo became the most famous clockmaker of the Empire and Restoration periods. One of his clocks was briefly included in the 1834 sale of the collection of the banker Jacques Laffitte; it was described as follows: “A clock with columns, in mahogany, adorned with gilt copper, mechanical movement by M. Raingo.



    In the same category
    Thomire
    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757-1843)

    Important Gilt Bronze Antique-Style Gueridon with Matte and Burnished Finishing

    Gueridon008-02_BD_MAIL

    Attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire

    Paris, early Restoration period, circa 1820

    Height75.3 Diamètre67.7

    The round white Carrara marble top with a molded edge rests on an entablature whose apron is adorned with a grape leaf frieze with stylized rosettes. The finely chased gilt bronze baluster foot features a capital that is adorned with a frieze of water leaves surmounted by a band with fan motifs and a base that is decorated with wide acanthus leaves alternating with stems, rosettes, and scrolling, itself surmounting a band decorated with leaves that emerge from a molded knop decorated with a waterleaf frieze. The pedestal features a generous acanthus leaf bouquet alternating with veined leaves. The three-legged base is embellished with scrolling and rosettes; the feet have roundels with stylized decoration, which cover the wheels.

    The piece of furniture known as a “gueridon” was fashionable during the reign of Louis XVI. It became extremely popular after Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to power, and numerous models were produced, in many different materials, during the first third of the 19th century. Nevertheless, it should be stressed that this particular type of gueridon, with a marble tabletop and a chased, gilt bronze foot, counts among the most spectacular and ambitious creations of the Imperial period and the following two decades. The attribution of the present table to bronze caster Pierre-Philippe Thomire is based on the numerous stylistic similarities to works that are known to have been made by that extraordinary bronzier, and on a description found in Juliette Niclausse’s 1947 monograph on Thomire, which mentions a similar table with certain variations in its general design: “A large chased and gilt bronze gueridon. The apron is adorned with a succession of stars, the feet terminate in claws. Signed Thomire” (J. Niclausse, Thomire, fondeur ciseleur (1751-1843), Paris, 1947, p. 134). Only a few similar gueridons made entirely of chased gilt bronze are known. Among them, one example with a baluster stem is in the Royal Spanish Collection, in the Royal Palace of El Pardo in Madrid (illustrated in L. Feduchi, Colecciones Reales de Espana, El Mueble, p. 457, fig. 380). A second piece was formerly in the collection of Russian sculptor Marc Antocolsky (1840-1902); it was first sold in Paris in 1906 and was again offered on the French art market several decades later (sold Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, May 26-27, 1930, lot 203). One further comparable gueridon is on display at the Villa Masséna in Nice (illustrated in L. Mézin, La Villa Masséna du Premier Empire à la Belle Epoque, 2010, p. 50-51, catalogue n° 8).

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757 - 1843)

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the most important Parisian bronzier of the last quarter of the 18th century and the first decades of the following century. Early on in his career he worked for Pierre Gouthière, ciseleur-fondeur du roi, and toward the mid-1770’s began working with Louis Prieur. He later became one of the bronziers attached to the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres, creating the bronze mounts for most of the important creations of the day. After the Revolution, he purchased the stock of Martin-Eloi Lignereux, thus becoming the most important suppliers of furniture bronzes for châteaux and Imperial Palaces. In addition, he worked for a wealthy private clientele, both French and foreign, including several of Napoleon’s Marshals. Thomire retired in 1823.



    Jacob-Desmalter  -  Thomire
    Jacob-Desmalter (1770-1841)
    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757-1843)

    Important Elm and Amboina-Veneered Dressing Table or Coiffeuse

    Coiffeuse001-06_BD_MAIL

    Attributed to François-Honoré-Georges Jacob, known as Jacob-Desmalter (1770-1841)

    The Bronze Mounts attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire

    Paris, early Restoration – Charles X period, circa 1815-1820

    Height179 Width131 Depth73

    Provenance:

    – Formerly collection of James de Rothschild (1792-1868)

     

    This rare dressing table, decorated on all sides, is a very unusual two-part piece of furniture, which is elaborately adorned with finely chased, patinated and gilt bronze. The upper portion features a round mirror that is framed by a leaf and flower frieze, and is attached to two baluster columns that are chased with stiff leaves, palmettes, acanthus leaves, and leaf-decorated, engine-turned bands. Resting on tripod feline-paw feet, they issue five light branches, four of which are curved and decorated with arabesque scrolling and rosettes; each also supports a folding, jointed arm with two candleholders. To the side of each stem stands a superb female figure depicting a young nymph coiffed with a flower wreath; the quadrangular bases are adorned with friezes of stylized foliage and ribbon-tied toruses. The blue turquin marble platform, with molded reserve, surmounts a table with wide entablature with two lateral drawers, and a writing surface that is released by pushing a button. The apron is embellished with a pierced foliate motif featuring a wreath flanked by scrolling, palmettes and flowers. The table rests on four robust console feet that are adorned with leaf motifs, terminate in scrolling hooves, and are linked by an H-shaped double-baluster stretcher with central leaf-decorated bands.

    This rare example is one of the most elaborate dressing tables of the early decades of the 19th century. Its characteristic design with two distinct parts, one featuring a mirror, distinguishes it from 18th century coiffeuses, in which the mirrors were fixed to the other side of folding elements. Here, the mirror is an integral part of the table and completely fills the function it was intended for. Only a few comparable examples are known today. Among them, one model, which Empress Josephine ordered from Antoine-Thibaut Baudouin as early as 1809, and is an early example of burr ash veneering, is on display in the Grand Trianon (illustrated in the exhibition catalogue L’aigle et le papillon, Symboles des pouvoirs sous Napoléon 1800-1815, Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, 2007, p. 116-117). A second piece was purchased directly by the Duchess de Berry at the stand of Félix Rémond during the 1823 Exposition des Produits de l’Industrie and was later placed in the Duchess’s new apartments in the Tuileries Palace; it is today in the Paris Musée des Arts décoratifs (see the exhibition catalogue Entre cour et jardin, Marie-Caroline, duchesse de Berry, Musée de l’Ile-de-France, Sceaux, 2007, p. 131). A third example was delivered by Jacob-Desmalter in 1807 for the Compiègne Palace (illustrated in J-P. Samoyault, Mobilier français Consulat et Empire, Paris, 2009, p. 227). Around 1809 Jacob-Desmalter delivered a fourth table, with lyre feet, for the apartments of the Empress (see J-M. Moulin, Guide du musée national du château de Compiègne, Paris, 1992, p. 81). A fifth example, delivered in 1809 by Thomire-Duterme et Cie for the Empress’s bedchamber in Fontainebleau Palace, is still there; its woodwork has been been described as relating to the Jacob workshop in J-P. Samoyault, Fontainebleau, Musée national du château, Meubles entrés sous le Premier Empire, RMN, Paris, 2004, p. 292-293. Finally, we should mention a comparable piece, the crystal coiffeuse that was created around 1819 by the “A l’Escalier de cristal” firm and is today in the Louvre Museum in Paris (illustrated in D. Alcouffe, A. Dion-Tenenbaum et A. Lefébure, Le mobilier du Louvre, Tome I, Editions Faton, Dijon, 1993, p. 321, catalogue n° 110).

    Jacob-Desmalter (1770 - 1841)

    François-Honoré-Georges Jacob, dit Jacob-Desmalter may be considered to be the most important Parisian chair makers of the first quarter of the 19th century. The youngest son of the famous cabinetmaker Georges Jacob (1739-1814), in 1798 he married Adélaïde-Anne Lignereux, the daughter of the famous merchant Martin-Eloi Lignereux. He first became known for his talent as a draughtsman, and in 1796, he went into partnership with his older brother Georges II Jacob (1768-1803). Together they took over their father’s workshop in the rue Meslée, calling their firm Jacob Frères. After the death of his brother, Jacob Desmalter went into partnership with his father, who had begun working again, and changed his stamp. For nearly a decade, they were important suppliers of the Imperial Garde-Meuble, as well as of influential collectors of the time. However, in 1813 the Jacob firm went bankrupt, due largely to the Imperial administration’s failure to pay them regularly. In 1825, after several failed attempts at recovery, he sold his business to his son in exchange for a comfortable life annuity of 6,000 francs per year. Finally free of the demands of running a business, he began to travel, going to England, where George IV asked him to help decorate Windsor castle. He died in the rue Cadet in Paris, on August 15, 1841.



    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757 - 1843)

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the most important Parisian bronzier of the last quarter of the 18th century and the first decades of the following century. Early on in his career he worked for Pierre Gouthière, ciseleur-fondeur du roi, and toward the mid-1770’s began working with Louis Prieur. He later became one of the bronziers attached to the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres, creating the bronze mounts for most of the important creations of the day. After the Revolution, he purchased the stock of Martin-Eloi Lignereux, thus becoming the most important suppliers of furniture bronzes for châteaux and Imperial Palaces. In addition, he worked for a wealthy private clientele, both French and foreign, including several of Napoleon’s Marshals. Thomire retired in 1823.



    Fragonard  -  Sèvres
    Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard (1780-1850)
    Sèvres Royal Manufactory

    Rare Pair of Sèvres Bisque Porcelain Winged Lions Bearing Gilt Baskets

    APF_Biscuits007_06

    After a Model by Alexandre-Evariste Fragonard

    Sèvres Royal Manufactory, Restoration period, circa 1826-1828

    One of the lions bears the incised marks J 6 26 and N° 2/Mars; one of the baskets is marked with a blue fleur-de-lis, Sèvres/28, the gilt mark MC. G (?) Mars and the incised numbers “24-4”.

    Height30 Width38.7 Depth19

    Each of the Sèvres bisque porcelain lions is depicted as advancing calmly and majestically, with its jaws open, its tail curved under its body, and a finely detailed mane. A pair of wings reminiscent of those of ancient Assyrian lions sprouts from its shoulders; each of the felines is fitted with a draped saddlecloth that is moulded with low-relief stylised motifs including palmettes and scrolling foliage and is bordered with tassels. A pierced gilt porcelain basket decorated with foliate motifs is borne on the back of each beast. Both lions stand on their original rectangular imitation marble tôle-peinte base.

    The design of this magnificent pair of “canephore” (basket-carrying) lions is based on an 1817 project by Alexandre-Evariste Fragonard. Fragonard’s original drawings featured a lion and a lioness carrying baskets, which were intended to accompany a group of basket-carrying Egyptian figures, as part of a lavish bisque and gilt porcelain surtout de table. It seems that only the lion figure was produced in the Manufactory’s atelier, under the direction of sculptor Jean-Charles-Nicolas Brachard. The first such lions appear in the Sèvres inventories in December 1818; they were exhibited at the Louvre the following year  (Fragonard’s original drawings and Brachard’s preliminary plaster figures are today in the Sèvres Museum).

    Only a very few identical examples are known; these are generally single figures whose mate has not survived. One example, made circa 1818, is in the collection of the Foreign Ministry in Paris (illustrated in M. Brunet and T. Préaud, Sèvres des origines à nos jours, Office du Livre, Fribourg, 1978, p. 291, fig. 354); two other examples appear in T. Préaud, The Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, Alexandre Brogniart and the Triumph of Art and Industry, 1800-1847, The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, New York, 1997, p. 358, plate 143; one further such lion is in the Mobilier national in Paris (illustrated in Le XIXe siècle français, Collection Connaissance des Arts, Hachette, Paris, 1957, p. 80).

    Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard (1780 - 1850)

    The son of the famous painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard, he first trained in his father’s workshop, then became the assistant of the painter David. The latter, speaking of his student’s talent, said: “there is oil in that lamp”. The young Fragonard quickly gained a reputation as a painter and sculptor, receiving numerous public and private commissions. During the Restoration period he created many models for the Royal Sèvres Manufactory. One of the most active participants in the renewal of the French decorative arts, he was a champion of the “Troubadour style”, which was influenced by the architecture, painting and decorative arts of the Middle Ages.



    Sèvres Royal Manufactory

    The Vincennes porcelain factory was created in 1740 under the patronage of Louis XV and the Marquise of Pompadour. It was created to rival with the Meissen porcelain factory, and became its principal European rival. In 1756 it was transferred to Sèvres, becoming the Royal Sèvres porcelain factory. Still active today, during the course of its existence it has had several periods of extraordinary creativity and has called on the finest French and European artisans. Kings and emperors considered it an exemplary showcase for French know-how. Most of the pieces created in the manufactory workshops were intended to be given as diplomatic gifts or to decorate the castles and royal palaces of the 18th and 19th centuries.



    Thomire
    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757-1843)

    Exceptional Pair of Monumental Matte and Burnished Gilt Bronze and Verde Antique “Serpentine” Porphyry Candelabra

    Candelabres019-01_HD_PRESSE

    Attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire

    Candelabra: Paris, Empire period, circa 1805-1810

    Columns: Paris, Restoration period, circa 1820-1840

    Candelabra :
    Height184 Width60 Depth35
    Columns :
    Height89.5 Diamètre47

    Provenance:

    – Paris, Galerie Seligmann

    – Purchased from the gallery by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, in 1919

    – Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1919-1994 (Inv. 19.182.1-2).

    – Sold Christie’s, New York, April 26, 1994, lot 139.

     

    This spectacular pair of candelabra features two magnificent running figures, one of which represents Apollo who is depicted with a serious expression, and who wears a laurel wreath, classical draperies, and sandals. The matching figure represents Diana with upswept hair, who is dressed in a tunic that is tied under her breasts and sandals with high-laced sandals. Apollo holds a shallow bowl in his left hand, while Diana brandishes a tazza in her right hand. Each figure holds aloft a torch with a quiver-form stem, from which branch fifteen candle sockets; the curved branches are adorned with stiff leaves, palmettes, scrolls and rosettes. The figures stand on plain polished plinths that are supported by cylindrical bases with molding adorned with alternating acanthus and stylized leaf friezes and capitals with stiff leaf, acanthus, and flower friezes, as well as an oval-bead frieze. The cylindrical columns are embellished with applied garlands that are suspended from beribboned roundels and scenes of chariot races featuring Apollo and Diana. The groups are supported on octagonal columns that are veneered with green marble and are adorned with friezes of double interlace motifs with flower heads and beribboned laurel leaf and seed toruses.

    The unusual design and monumental proportions of the present pair of candelabra suggest that it was created by one of the finest Parisian bronze casters of the Napoleonic period, and perhaps the best among them. At the time, only two or three Parisian bronziers possessed the skill and equipment necessary to cast and assemble such large pieces. They include André-Antoine Ravrio, Claude Galle and Pierre-Philippe Thomire. The latter was the most talented and innovative bronze caster of the early 19th century, and it is to him that we attribute the present pair of candelabra. At the 1819 Paris Exhibition, Thomire & Compagnie presented “…a large candelabrum…very elaborately decorated.” (L. Costaz, Rapport du jury central sur les produits de l’industrie française, présenté à S.E.M. le comte Decazes, Imprimerie royale, Paris, 1819, p. 213). Thomire regularly worked with the architects Percier and Fontaine, who produced the Recueil de décorations intérieures that contains the design that must have inspired the motifs representing Diana and Apollo in their chariots that decorate the bases of the present pair of candelabra (see the exhibition catalogue Charles Percier, Architecture and Design in an Age of Revolutions, Musée national du Château de Fontainebleau, 2017, p. 124, fig. 6.2).

    At present, only five other identical pairs of candelabra are known to exist. Some feature variations, often as regards the gilding or patina of the Diana and Apollo figures. One pair, which was most likely purchased in Paris circa 1810 for Frederic III of Wurttemberg (1754-1816), is today in Ludwigsburg Palace in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany (Inv. TRGT 5502-5503) (illustrated in H. Ottomeyer and P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Die Bronzearbeiten des Spatbarock und Klassizismus, Munich, 1986, p. 330, figs. 5.2.5 and 5.2.6). A second pair, which was probably formerly in the Napoleonic Imperial collections, is now part of the Mobilier National and is on display in the salons of the Quai d’Orsay, now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (pictured in Le Quai d’Orsay, Paris, 1991, p. 107). Two pairs, with six light branches and without bases, are in the British Royal collections in Buckingham Palace (Inv. RCIN 2718). A fifth pair is in the Schwarzenberg Palace in Vienna.

    The latter pair, known as the “Schwarzenberg pair”, is the best documented. It affords much precious information about these spectacular candelabra. Count Schwarzenberg purchased the pair in Paris on January 17, 1805 from André Coquille, a dealer in furniture and curiosities. The invoice, which is preserved in the Schwarzenberg archives, indicates a purchase price of 14,000 francs, a huge sum at the time, and the name they were then known by: “les Camilles”. Approximately a decade later, in 1819, the candelabra were shown at the  Exposition des Produits de l’Industrie française. This is documented by an engraving from the Recueil d’ornements by the Parisian artist and engraver Charles-Pierre-Joseph Normand (1765-1840), now in the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art à Paris, formerly the Bibliothèque Jacques Doucet (see H. Ottomeyer and P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Band I, Munich, 1986, p. 390, fig. 5.17.1).

    Concerning the provenance of the present pair of candelabra, they were long in the renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York, subsequently reappeared on the New York art market in the mid-1990s when several important pieces from the museum were offered at auction. We know they were presented in the early 20th century at the Seligmann Gallery in Paris. Founded by Jacques Seligmann (1858-1923), within a few decades the gallery became the largest Parisian gallery presenting antique furniture and luxury art objects. It quickly acquired an international reputation, counting among its clientele the greatest European and American collectors including Count Moïse de Camondo, the banker Edmond de Rothschild, the industrialist Henry Clay Frick and the financier John Pierpont Morgan. Renowned for their ability to discover rare and exceptional objects, the Seligmanns purchased only unusual pieces from the most prestigious international collections. They acquired the totality of the private portion of the Hertford-Wallace collection, the other half of which is today on display in London as part of the Wallace Collection.

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757 - 1843)

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the most important Parisian bronzier of the last quarter of the 18th century and the first decades of the following century. Early on in his career he worked for Pierre Gouthière, ciseleur-fondeur du roi, and toward the mid-1770’s began working with Louis Prieur. He later became one of the bronziers attached to the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres, creating the bronze mounts for most of the important creations of the day. After the Revolution, he purchased the stock of Martin-Eloi Lignereux, thus becoming the most important suppliers of furniture bronzes for châteaux and Imperial Palaces. In addition, he worked for a wealthy private clientele, both French and foreign, including several of Napoleon’s Marshals. Thomire retired in 1823.



    Lepaute  -  Jacob-Desmalter
    Jean-Joseph Lepaute (1768-?)
    Jacob-Desmalter (1770-1841)

    Important Long Case Regulator or “pendule à secondes” indicating True Time and Mean Time

    APF_Régulateur013_04

    Case Attributed to the Workshop of Jacob-Desmalter

    Paris, early Restoration period, during the reign of Louis XVIII, circa 1821-1823

    Height205.5 Width53.5 Depth27

    The round white enamel dial, signed “J.J. Lepaute/Hr du Roi & de la Ville/Rue St Honoré n°247”, has three pierced gilt bronze and blued steel hands that indicate mean time, or “terrestrial” time, with Roman numeral hours and minutes graduations, Arabic numeral date, and the months, along with their respective astrological symbols. It indicates the seconds by means of a central seconds hand. The bronze or brass bezel is molded and gilt. The movement features a heavy bimetallic gridiron pendulum with bob. The architectural mahogany case is glazed on three sides, and is surmounted by a protruding molded and dentilled cornice with a quadrangular entablature. The solid base, with curved molding, features reserves framed by molding and centered by protruding lozenges.

    This magnificent clock is housed in a polished mahogany neoclassical case, whose clean lines are intended to highlight the ingenious and extremely precise mechanism, the motion of the pendulum, and the beauty of the enamel dial. This esthetic movement, inspired by creations of the late 18th century, resulted from Emperor Napoleon’s desire for a sober and elegant style. The pure, clean lines enhance the beauty of the mahogany, with the costly mahogany veneering being used either on the bias, or highlighting the straight grain, and featuring “moiré”, flame, “pommelés”, and mottled effects. The mahogany case has been attributed to the workshop of Jacob-Desmalter due to the great precision of its assemblage and the high quality of the wood sheets that the cabinetmaker clearly selected with great care. While Jacob-Desmalter often produced “ordinary” pieces, he also created magnificent cases on special commission; one such example is illustrated in Tardy, La pendule française, 2ème Partie: Du Louis XVI à nos jours, Paris, 1975, p. 423. A second clock, made in 1803 by the Jacob workshop, is today in the Bibliothèque de l’Institut de France in Paris (illustrated in J-D. Augarde, Les ouvriers du Temps, La pendule à Paris de Louis XIV à Napoléon Ier, Genève, 1996, p. 351, fig. 263).

    Very few comparable pieces exist. Among them are a clock made by Antide Janvier in 1804, today in the Musée Paul-Dupuy in Toulouse (illustrated in M. Hayard, Antide Janvier 1751-1835, Horloger des étoiles, Villeneuve-Tolosane, 1995, p. 173). Another, whose dial is signed Robin, is in the Musée Lambinet in Versailles (see the exhibition catalogue La Révolution dans la mesure du temps, calendrier républicain heure décimale 1793-1805, Musée international d’horlogerie, La Chaux-de-Fonds, 1989, p. 69, fig. 15). A third clock, whose dial is signed Laresche, is illustrated in P. Heuer and K. Maurice, European Pendulum Clocks, Decorative Instruments of Measuring Time, Munich, 1988, p. 125, fig. 229. A fourth piece, delivered to the king of Spain by the clockmaker Godon in the early 19th century, is in the Royal Spanish Collection (cf. J. Ramon Colon de Carvajal, Catalogo de Relojes del Patrimonio nacional, Madrid, 1987, p. 108-109, catalogue n° 89). Another regulator, with a dial signed by the enameler Dubuisson, is part of the collection of Wilhelmshöhe Castle near Cassel (see R. Mühe and Horand M. Vogel, Horloges anciennes, Manuel des horloges de table, des horloges murales et des pendules de parquet européennes, Fribourg, 1978, p. 287, figs. 579-580). One further regulator was delivered in 1809 by Pierre-Basile and Jean-Joseph Lepaute to Napoleon’s Grand Cabinet in the Grand Trianon, where it still stands (illustrated in P. Arizzoli-Clémentel and J-P. Samoyault, Le mobilier de Versailles, chefs-d’œuvre du XIXe siècle, Editions Faton, Dijon, 2009, p. 280-281, catalogue n° 104; see also D. Ledoux-Lebard, Inventaire général du Musée national de Versailles et des Trianons, Tome 1, Le grand Trianon, Meubles et objets d’art, Editions De Nobele, Paris, 1975, p. 116-117).

    Jean-Joseph Lepaute (1768 - ?)

    Born in Bièvres in the Ardennes in 1768, Jean-Joseph Lepaute, known as “Collignon“, was a member of one of the most important Parisian clockmaking dynasties of the 18th century and the early 19th century.  The nephew of Pierre-Basile Lepaute, called “Sully-Lepaute“, he went into partnership with his uncle, founding the “Lepaute Oncle & Neveu” company, active from 1798 to 1811. During this period they won several awards, including a silver medal at the 1806 Exhibition of the Products of Industry. After 1811, Jean-Joseph established his own firm, “Lepaute neveu à Paris”, opened a workshop in the Place du Palais Royal and was given the honorary title of “Horloger du Roi de Rome” (“Roi de Rome” was the title given to Napoleon’s son). In 1813, he made a clock for Fontainebleau Palace, and delivered pieces to the Saint-Cloud and Compiègne castles. After the fall of Napoleon he continued to receive important public commissions. He is cited in the rue de Richelieu in 1820, then in the rue Saint-Honoré the following year. After his son’s premature death he sold his business to his cousin Augustin-Joseph-Henry Lepaute.



    Jacob-Desmalter (1770 - 1841)

    François-Honoré-Georges Jacob, dit Jacob-Desmalter may be considered to be the most important Parisian chair makers of the first quarter of the 19th century. The youngest son of the famous cabinetmaker Georges Jacob (1739-1814), in 1798 he married Adélaïde-Anne Lignereux, the daughter of the famous merchant Martin-Eloi Lignereux. He first became known for his talent as a draughtsman, and in 1796, he went into partnership with his older brother Georges II Jacob (1768-1803). Together they took over their father’s workshop in the rue Meslée, calling their firm Jacob Frères. After the death of his brother, Jacob Desmalter went into partnership with his father, who had begun working again, and changed his stamp. For nearly a decade, they were important suppliers of the Imperial Garde-Meuble, as well as of influential collectors of the time. However, in 1813 the Jacob firm went bankrupt, due largely to the Imperial administration’s failure to pay them regularly. In 1825, after several failed attempts at recovery, he sold his business to his son in exchange for a comfortable life annuity of 6,000 francs per year. Finally free of the demands of running a business, he began to travel, going to England, where George IV asked him to help decorate Windsor castle. He died in the rue Cadet in Paris, on August 15, 1841.



    In the same category
    Breguet  -  Thomire
    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757-1843)

    Rare Patinated and Burnished Gilt Bronze Mantle Clock

    Pendule250-04_HD_WEB

    Breguet Neveu et Cie N°2833

    The patinated bronze putto figure by Pierre-Philippe Thomire

    Paris, Empire-Restoration period

    Height50.5 Width16.8 Depth16.8

    Provenance:

    – sold for 400 francs on June 5, 1852 to Monsieur Moukhanoff; this was no doubt Serge Moukhanoff, Grand equerry and Président du Comptoir des écuries at the Court of the Emperor of Russia (c.f. the Breguet certificate dated June 9, 2017).

    The round silvered metal dial, signed “Breguet” and numbered “2833”, indicates the Roman numeral hours and the outermost minutes graduations by means of two blued steel Breguet hands. It is housed in a drum case whose bezel is adorned with bead friezes, and is supported by a child who is wearing draperies and is kneeling on one knee. The stepped circular base, placed on a quadrangular plinth, is decorated with a stylized laurel torus.

    According to the archives of the Breguet firm, the most famous horological firm in Europe during the 19th century, the exceptionally well chased bronze putto was purchased by the Maison Breguet in 1813 from Pierre-Philippe Thomire, the most famous bronze caster of the time. This very unusual clock model, with its perfectly balanced design, was produced by the Maison Breguet beginning in the Empire period; only five examples were made.

    Today only a very few examples are known to exist. One gilt bronze clock, whose dial is signed “Breguet et Fils”, was sold by Antiquorum in Genève on November 14, 2004, lot 87. A second example is illustrated in Tardy, La pendule française, 2ème Partie: du Louis XVI à nos jours, Paris, 1974, p. 396, fig. 3. One further such clock, which was described in January 1827 at the sale of the collection of Baron Dominique Vivant-Denon: “860. A small clock by Breguet; it is supported by a half-kneeling child; a pretty bronze figure that is very carefully chased and is gilt in heavy gold ducat gilding (or de ducat). This charming model, which was modeled by the late M. Van-Vaeyenberg, has been cast only five times. Height 17 inches”.

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757 - 1843)

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the most important Parisian bronzier of the last quarter of the 18th century and the first decades of the following century. Early on in his career he worked for Pierre Gouthière, ciseleur-fondeur du roi, and toward the mid-1770’s began working with Louis Prieur. He later became one of the bronziers attached to the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres, creating the bronze mounts for most of the important creations of the day. After the Revolution, he purchased the stock of Martin-Eloi Lignereux, thus becoming the most important suppliers of furniture bronzes for châteaux and Imperial Palaces. In addition, he worked for a wealthy private clientele, both French and foreign, including several of Napoleon’s Marshals. Thomire retired in 1823.



    In the same category